Workers repairing T.S. Debby damage on Sunshine Skyway Bridge

skennedy@bradenton.comOctober 3, 2012 

MANATEE -- Repair work continued Monday on a road that snakes along the south end of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge that was damaged by Tropical Storm Debby.

The access road on the west side of the bridge, which links Manatee County to Hillsborough County, was eaten away by waves during the tropical storm's journey through the Gulf of Mexico in June.

The deluge of rain and high winds from Debby shut down Manatee bridges to boaters, closed the Skyway Bridge, and downed trees everywhere. It also caused severe erosion to beaches on its long slog through the Gulf.

Workers will remove damaged and/or eroded asphalt and base, and replace it with new material, primarily on the paved shoulder of the South Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier Road, according to Lauren Hatchell, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Transportation.

In order to accomplish some of the repairs, the guardrail will need to be temporarily removed and reset at the end of the work period, she said.

From time to time, one travel lane will be closed in order to facilitate the repairs, she added.

The cost of the repair is $99,000, and the contractor is Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, LLC, Hatchell said.

Work began Sept. 24, and is expected to be completed in about 30 days.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@saraswrites.com.

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