With 80 percent support, Raft Island Improvement Association (RIIA) approved a ballot to move forward to Phase II to replace its aging bridge, according to a press release issued by Board President Richard Swenson.
Located just ten minutes from the City of Gig Harbor, Raft Island consists of 228 lots. The 160-acre private island is connected to the mainland by a 788-foot timber bridge. The structure has served the residents since 1958.
“Wood bridges don’t last forever so in 1996, RIIA rallied their membership and voted to collect dues for a Bridge Replacement Fund,” said Swenson. “By 2010, after collecting over $1 million dollars, the membership applied for and was awarded two USDA loans to finance construction of a new bridge. The low rates (3.72 percent fixed max) and 30-year term means homeowners will have predictable monthly dues and a brand new bridge.”
Based on preliminary cost estimates to reconstruct the structure, monthly bridge dues will remain about the same.
The Raft Island website states that its consultant Exeltech Consulting Inc. is able to engineer and construct the bridge within a $5.7 million budget.
“This is good news for property owners and real estate representatives because it means that the Island’s biggest asset: a new bridge -- will be good for at least 75 years,” Swenson said.
Phase II will finance work by engineers to design, permit and bid the project. If all goes as planned, the bridge is expected to be completed by early 2015.
For more information, visit the Raft Island Improvement Association website.