Treasure Island Bascule Bridge – Featured Archive

Treasure Island Bascule Bridge – Featured Archive 1024 685 Southland Holdings

The Treasure Island Bascule Bridge, located in Florida, is an iconic structure that spans Boca Ciega Bay, connecting the city of Treasure Island to the mainland. This drawbridge, renowned for its distinctive bascule design, plays a vital role in the region’s infrastructure by allowing both vehicular and maritime traffic to coexist efficiently. When closed, it facilitates the smooth flow of cars and pedestrians across the bay, while its ability to open on demand provides a crucial passage for boats navigating the Intracoastal Waterway. The bridge is not only a functional marvel but also a scenic landmark, offering picturesque views of the surrounding waterways and enhancing the coastal charm of Treasure Island. Regular maintenance and upgrades ensure its operational reliability, making it a pivotal feature of the local transportation network, and a beloved symbol of the area’s maritime heritage. 

Project Overview 

The Treasure Island Bascule Bridge replacement project was overseen by John Meagher, supported by superintendents Mike Brown and Paul Duchene, with safety supervision led by John Hogan.The project began in January 2005 and was completed in August 2007. The bridge, featuring a double leaf design and a vertical clearance of 6.40 meters when closed, has won multiple awards for its construction excellence. Treasure Island’s original causeway bascule bridge, constructed in 1939, served as a toll bridge for 76 years. Southland was chosen for the marine project, carrying out all construction work from the water using barges and flexi floats. Known for its appealing art deco design, the Treasure Island Causeway features a computerized drawbridge controlled by a touch screen monitor. In its closed position, the bridge offers a vertical clearance of 6.40 meters. 

Engineering and Design 

The new bridge, constructed using barges, showcases a sophisticated bascule system with a computerized control operated by a touch screen monitor. This state-of-the-art control house underscores the bridge’s advanced engineering. The project included extensive roadway work, barrier walls, erosion and sedimentation control, pavement removal, clearing and grubbing, and the demolition of existing structures. Additionally, embankment and stormwater systems, curb and gutter installations, sidewalk construction, and landscaping were integral parts of the project. 

Historical Significance 

Built in 1939, the original Treasure Island Causeway bascule bridge, operated as a toll bridge for 76 years. Its attractive Art Deco design made it a notable landmark. The replacement project not only preserved the aesthetic appeal of the original bridge but also incorporated modern advancements to meet contemporary standards and demands. 

Award-Winning Excellence 

The project won the FTBA/FDOT Major Bridge award for Best in Construction in 2007, and was ranked #7 by Roads and Bridges Magazine’s Top 10 Bridges for the same year. These accolades highlight the exceptional quality and innovative approach taken in the bridge’s construction. 

Community and Environmental Impact 

Constructed using barges to minimize environmental impact, the project demonstrated a commitment to preserving the natural beauty of Boca Ciega Bay. The bridge’s construction was a collaborative effort, showcasing a strong camaraderie between the designer, contractor, and owner, which was crucial in overcoming the challenges faced during the project.