Readers respond to TrailBridge needs FROM YOU your words
July 8, 2009
A engineering report released recently on the status of the Friendship TrailBridge confirmed earlier findings that the bridge's girders are heavily corroded and broken.
A full repair would cost $15 million and would prolong the bridge's life by 10 years before it had to be demolished.
Other options in the engineering reports by Kisinger Campo & Associates and SDR Engineering Consultants:
• Repairing the spans from the entrances in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties to the ends of the catwalks would cost $10 million, which would include demolishing the high span in the middle. The repaired sections would be structurally sound for 10 years.
• Demolishing the bridge and building new fishing piers at both ends of the existing bridge would cost $17.5 million. The piers might have to be moved if a new Gandy Bridge is built several decades from now.
• Demolishing the bridge and building fishing piers off a new Gandy Bridge after it is constructed. It would cost $13 million to demolish the bridge and an additional estimated $6.5 million to build the piers.
Two public meetings will be held to allow residents to comment on the report. They will be from 4 to 6 p.m. July 14 at Weedon Island Preserve, 1500 Weedon Drive N.E., St. Petersburg and 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 15 at Jan Platt Library, 3910 S. Manhattan Ave.
Readers weighed in with opinions of what should be done with the Friendship TrailBridge on www.southtampa.tbo.com and www.centraltampa.tbo.com. Here is a sampling of those comments:
I say demolish it and wait for the new Gandy Bridge in a few years to be built, in the meantime the demolished structure would make great artificial reefs and thus allowing for fish to populate the area once again and make it great for future fishing, also in the meantime catwalks could be added the newer Gandy Bridge that there already.
Posted by mishymale
Do we really need to do anything? Boaters and walkers beware. A few signs and save our $$ for more important things...
Posted by mprice12
So basically, the Westshore/South Tampa beautification process which has included paving a sidewalk area from the Friendship Bridge parking lot to connect it to the new beautified and widened sidewalks of Gandy Blvd in Tampa was all for naught because it's not like you can take the bridge to cross counties by bike. This is ridiculous. So it would cost $10 million to make the bridge last another 10 years. It cost $7 million to make it last 9 years. Spend 10 to have at least a more versatile structure than just fishing piers. Come on people, think!
Posted by ROTLMAO
Place a 2% tax on fast food, alcoholic beverages, and cigs. Ask the preservation committee to raise matching funds. The bridge is (was) used by thousands of Bay area people. In addition, secure some more competitive bids... even from out-of-staters to keep the firms honest. The bridge is a great asset to the Bay area and both counties. There is money out there for such a worthy project.
Posted by beevo
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