After 105 days of construction work on downtown Tampa's Platt Street Bridge, the 85-year-old bridge is once again open to the public.
Officially opened to traffic in the early hours of January 17th, Tampa drivers should still expect occasional individual road closures and lane shifts similar to those performed before the bridge closed in October 2011
. Work on the $13.8 million project began January 2011 and will continue until fully completed in the Spring of 2012.
Remaining work on the 518-foot bridge includes painting, restoring the tender house, installing vintage street lighting and updating various electrical components. Once completed, the bridge will look almost exactly like the $400,000 original, including functionality and 1926 historical appearance.
Funded by Community Investment Tax
proceeds and federal grants, project contractors were given an incentive to finish on-time: If construction during the closure was finished before January 16th, Hillsborough County
would pay contractors $10,000 per day. On the other hand, for everyday that the completion date was delayed, the contractor would be penalized $10,000.
“It's such a critical artery,” says Steve Valdez, spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Public Works Department
. “We wanted to make darn sure we lessened the amount of adverse impact as much as we possibly could.”
Work on the Platt Street Bridge is being done partly to see completion before the Republican National Convention
in the Tampa Bay area in August 2012.
Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Steve Valdez, Hillsborough County Public Works Department