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Treasure Island takes on bridge projects
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TREASURE ISLAND – City leaders took the first step toward the replacement of two bridges Dec. 6 by approving up to $407,846 for a Tampa consulting engineering firm to act as “owner’s engineer” on the projects.

Treasure Island Commissioners voted unanimously during a workshop to let E.C. Driver and Associates act in a consulting role on the replacement of the Isle of Palms and Capri bridges – two projects estimated to cost $3.95 million.

“Our primary purpose is to act as an extension of the city staff and provide technical expertise,” said Jim Phillips of E.C. Driver. “This would include issues that have to be resolved, tight restraints and power lines overhead.”

The city has decided to use a “design-build” approach to the two jobs. Under this approach, E.C. Driver will develop preliminary design criteria.

E.C. Driver, the firm that designed and constructed the city’s new bascule bridge, will select a design-build contractor, which will complete the final design and construct the bridges within a specified time.

Public Works Director Jim Murphy said this method is more cost-effective and is expected to result in a quicker completion than a design-bid-build approach.

If the two bridges are built concurrently, the targeted completion date is April 30, 2013. If the two bridges are built consecutively, the projected finish is July 31, 2013.

Construction would begin in early November 2012.

Commissioner Phil Collins expressed concern over traffic schemes during the construction.

Phillips said in each case, there would be single-lane traffic using a temporary traffic light.

“I think traffic management will be paramount,” Collins said. “Nobody is going to want to sit at a red light when there’s no traffic coming from the opposite direction.”

City Manager Reid Silverboard explained that utility cables that span the current bridges would have to be removed before construction can begin and placed underground.

Commissioner Gail Caldwell said she hoped both bridges would each have one safe, wider sidewalk, as opposed to two narrow sidewalks as one of the two bridges currently has.

In other action, commissioners:

• Decided to move forward on a single-stream recycling program that would allow residents to put all recycleables in the same recycling container. The city would also continue the use of its four recycling centers for residents who do not have curbside pickup. The city’s current contract with Waste Management ends March 12. The bid process on a new contract is expected to begin soon.

• Passed a resolution approving an interlocal agreement with Pinellas County for joint control of pollutants that empty into public waterways.

• Approved $43,821.93 from the balance of the city’s federal bridge funds to hire Seagrass Recovery Inc. to repair a seagrass bed near the bascule bridge. Seagrass Recovery specializes in repairing prop cars using a sediment tube technology. The plan has been approved by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
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