Are you kidding? Columbus Drive Bridge to be closed for ANOTHER month

A press release from Hillsborough County states that:

The Columbus Drive Bridge in West Tampa will now remain closed until July 24 as a result of inclement weather, additional unexpected replacement work required on the steel roadway grating and the drive motor in the swing bridge. Also, the roadway approach subsurface was found to be deficient and in need of complete replacement, instead of repair, during recent rehabilitation work.

You know how some major projects have an incentive for the construction crew where they're rewarded for every day they finish the project early?

Obviously there will be none of that happening with this project. Was that incentive ever available?

Officials say the closure is required to allow the contractor to open the swing bridge and perform replacement work on its components.

Hillsborough officials are also smart enough now to perhaps take it easy with the date when the bridge will finally be opened again. Although the date of July 24 is mentioned, later in the press release we get this sentence.

"The full project is expected to be completed in Summer 2012."

Does that mean if it's still closed into mid-September, everything's still on track?

Oh brother.

Remember in the weeks leading up to the closure of the Platt Street Bridge, the fears among residents and commuters around Davis Islands and those who commuted via Bayshore Boulevard into downtown Tampa?

If you might recall, there were headlines (in the South Community News for example) of "Carmegeddon" coming to South Tampa. It wasn't nearly so bad, and after a 105-day, $13.8 million reconstruction, the bridge reopened to traffic in mid January.

Compare that to the Columbus Drive Bridge, a major artery connecting people to and from West Tampa into downtown and Ybor City.

That bridge was closed in February and was originally scheduled to reopen in May. Then it was June.

And today it was announced it will be closed until July 24. Are you kidding me?

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