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Raft Island Approves Phase II Bridge Reconstruction Project

Raft Island Improvement Association voted to replace the aging timber bridge that connects the island to the mainland.

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.

RhondaVW January 17, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Raft Island could take the title away from Boothbay: http://www.compositology.com/news/industry_news/architect_and_design/largest-composite-bridge-open/
RhondaVW January 17, 2013 at 01:39 AM
The Knickerbocker Bridge in Boothbay, Maine - a 540 foot timber structure similar to the Raft Island Bridge - was recently replaced with a hybrid composite beam system that should work just as well for your bridge. Videos of the project can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/HCB-Videos
RhondaVW January 17, 2013 at 01:43 AM
We have been working on a replacement for our 2 mile long boardwalk using the same HCB design: http://tinyurl.com/HCB-Boardwalk The light weight of the beams allow for accelerated construction times and conservative estimates for our structure which featured 12" deep beams capable of supporting a 72,000 lbs HS-20 vehicle, are well below $200/sqft.

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