By KATHY SAUNDERS
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 11, 2001
TREASURE ISLAND -- The Treasure Island Causeway Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic on Monday from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday. The closing will not affect boat traffic.
Work on the bridge last week uncovered a damaged live load shoe, a large piece of steel that the bridge sits on when it is in the down position. The problem was temporarily repaired last week and will need to be raised for several hours on Monday to be permanently repaired. Last week, contractors repaired the nose locks and the bridge's alignment. The nose locks are two hydraulic cylinders with large steel pins that keep both spans of the bridge tight and locked when lowered. The work is done every year to tighten the locks and prevent the spans from moving when heavy trucks pass over the bridge.
Drivers should use the Blind Pass Bridge in St. Pete Beach or the John's Pass Bridge through Madeira Beach to reach Treasure Island.
Hal Bruce, the city's transportation director, said he hopes the work will be finished this week. But it is possible that the bridge will need to be closed again next week to complete the repairs.
The city recently began a two-year study to replace or rehabilitate the 64-year-old Causeway Bridge by the year 2005. A series of repairs completed in 1995 were designed to last 10 years.