As for the $7.8 million, that estimate does not take into account accelerated scheduling to fix the bridge on an emergency basis, which could add up to 50 percent to the project, increasing the total cost to more than $10 million.
Furthermore, the report says, bracing the bridge would be particularly challenging because the ends of the beams are so severely corroded in some cases that it would be difficult to bolt the reinforcing steel plates.
Marcos Redondo, an engineer with the countys public works and waste management department, told Key Biscayne the mend is not feasible.
Were not making this up, he said. A lot of things are being said to give you the impression that this quick fix is a very easy thing. But its not.
An entirely new bridge similar to the existing one would cost upwards of $100 million, the county says. The consultants report estimates a price tag of $59 million, but in a memo to Zapata, Gimenez wrote that studies, insurance and other costs would increase the costs by about $40 million. That could require hiking causeway tolls, which the county already plans to raise to $1.75 from $1.50 to finance the current bridge repairs.
Gimenez said he has no plans to ask county commissioners to take up the Key Biscayne resolution asking Miami-Dade to put out new bids for Stearns proposed temporary fix. The commission could bring up the measure on its own.
And, Gimenez has repeatedly said, nothing precludes the county from building an entirely new bridge after completing the repairs.
I want to assure the safety of the people traveling on that bridge, Gimenez said. We need to repair this bridge. We need to do it. I think that is the prudent way to go, and all my engineers agree with me.