The last time the Venice City Council discussed replacing the Capri Isle Boulevard bridge it was in bad shape but not so bad that weight limits on vehicles were needed.
It’s getting some now, though, at the direction of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), though only for trucks.
The bridge, built in 1971, crosses Curry Creek by the Capri Isles Golf Club. It’s the only one in Sarasota County that FDOT considers structurally deficient.
The replacement of it is in the city’s Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget but first it has to get through the design, engineering and permitting phases, with construction tentatively planned for next summer.
The Council has yet to decide whether to do a single-span or two-span bridge, however.
A new one-span bridge would cost about $1.3 million, City Engineer Kathleen Weeden told the council during a budget workshop this summer, and could be built without a piling under it. That would open the channel up and, more important, eliminate the main trouble spot of the existing bridge.
Twelve of the prestressed concrete pilings that support it have “moderate cracks, spalls (chipping or flaking), scaling and some delaminations (separation and weakness of layers),” while two show “severe cracks, spalls, scaling, delaminations and corrosion of non-prestressed reinforcement,” reports prepared for FDOT show.
Some of the cracks are as long as 5 feet, 6 inches and up to three-eighths of an inch wide, according to the 2016 report. All of the piles have cracks at least 4 feet long, it states.
The bridge deck has some cracks as well but it isn’t itself considered to be in poor condition.
A two-span bridge would need pilings and be more expensive, Weeden told the council.
The city has a $1 million state grant in hand for the project and it’s anticipated there will be some road bond money left after that work is completed that could go toward replacing the bridge, the city’s bond counsel has opined.
If, Weeden said, the road project uses up all the bond money, or the council opts for the two-span solution, there’s still more than $1 million available in gas tax revenue.