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Treasure Island’s new bridge gets high ranking
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TREASURE ISLAND – The city’s new bridge stands tall among the nation’s elite, according to business publication.

Roads and Bridges, a Scranton Gillette Communications business publication, has ranked the Treasure Island/C.W. Bill Young Bascule Bridge as the sixth top bridge in the country for 2007.

The magazine’s November 2007 issue will recognize owners, designers and contractors from each project, said a company news release.

“The announcement of this year’s Top 10 Bridges list coincides with a renewed national focus on our country’s bridges and the dramatic funding shortages for infrastructure projects,” said Bill Wilson, editorial director of R&B and creator of the Bridges list.

“Public safety considerations, along with the complexities of project specifications and traffic impact, made the selection of this list especially difficult,” Wilson said. “Each one of these projects overcame testy challenges and answered the call of providing efficient transportation.”

The Top 10 Bridges list for 2007 is as follows: No. 1: replacement of I-10 over Escambia Bay, Pensacola; No. 2: U.S. 90 Bay St. Louis Bridge, Bay St. Louis, Miss.; No. 3: John James Audubon Bridge, Louisiana; No. 4: Missisquoi Bay Bridge, Alburg-Swanton, Vt.; No. 5: Route15 over the Housatonic River, Milford/Stratford, Conn.; No. 6: Treasure Island Bascule Bridge Replacement, City of Treasure Island, Fla.; No. 7: Bridge over Ohio River and Blennerhassett Island, Parkersburg, W. Va.; No. 8: U.S. 17 Washington Bypass, Washington, D.C.; No. 9: Markham Yard Bridge Reconstruction on Tri-State Tollway, East Hazel Crest, Ill.; No. 10: Roslyn Viaduct Replacement, Roslyn, N.Y.

Design firms, department of transportation and engineers nominated nearly 60 North American bridge projects, ranging from $42 million to $348 million. To be considered for the competition, all projects were required to be in the design or construction phase within the past 18 months. Entries were accepted June 2007 to August 2007.

Roads & Bridges magazine serves more than 60,000 contractors, government officials and engineers in the road and bridge construction market. Headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., the publication celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006. For more information, please visit www.r­oadsb­ridge­

On Aug. 25, the bridge, the main artery between Treasure Island and St. Petersburg, was open to four lanes of traffic uninterrupted by construction closures since January 1, 2005.

The old bridge, first built in 1938, had deteriorated so much that an engineer who spoke at the opening ceremony said it was rated “3.3 out of 100 for stability. Two is in the water.”

U.S. Congressman Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, was instrumental in obtaining $54 million in federal funds to pay for the bridge’s construction.
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