GASPARILLA ISLAND BRIDGE AUTHORITY
MISSION: To maintain safe and efficient traffic flow at all times through the Toll Booths, along the causeway, and along the Intracoastal water way. To make fair and balanced decisions which impact a diverse group of stakeholders including owners, travelers, local businesses and employees.
HISTORY: The Boca Grande Swing Bridge and causeway is located in southwest Charlotte County near Placida. It is the only land link from Charlotte County to the three barrier islands known as: North, Cole and Gasparilla Island. All three bridges and the causeway are owned by the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority. The Boca Grande Swing Bridge spans two 80 foot wide channels on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at Placida Harbor and was built in 2015. The steel swing span is 225 feet in length and vessel clearance is 22 feet.
THE BRIDGE AUTHORITY: The State of Florida Independent Special Tax District, known as the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority (GIBA) was created by Special Act 96-507 of the Florida Legislature. The GIBA is run by a Board of 5 elected Supervisors and 4 appointed Supervisors who meet quarterly. Daily bridge/ causeway operations are managed by the Executive Director. The GIBA Special Tax District includes all voters within the geographic area from the CR 775/Causeway intersection (Charlotte County), south along the Boca Grande Causeway past North & Cole Islands to Gasparilla Island’ s village of Boca Grande (Lee County).
BRIDGE OPENINGS: GIBA’ s mission, 24 hours/day, is to provide: (1) the best possible customer services for all customers (vessels and vehicles) and (2) safe, efficient traffic flow for vehicles paying bridge tolls and all boats requesting bridge openings. The Boca Grande “ swing bridge” spans the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Openings are set by U.S. Coast Guard waterway rules. Coast Guard regulations require the Boca Grande swing bridge to open for vessel traffic:
Monday-Friday days: 7am to 6pm: On the hour and half hour
Monday-Friday evenings: 6pm to 7am: On demand
Saturday, Sunday, and federal holidays: Every 15 minutes
BRIDGE TENDER: On duty 24 hours everyday. They also provide wind speed, wind direction, weather conditions, and relay vessel emergencies to the Coast Guard. Communications: Phone: 941-697-2271 ext. 5 or VHF Channel: 9/16.
VEHICLE TOLLS: All GIBA operating revenues are generated via user tolls. No tax dollars are used so if you do not use the GIBA causeway, you do not pay for it. Passenger vehicles and pick up trucks pay $6.00 for a round trip to the island. Passes are available to the public. Commercial trucks, buses, and heavy equipment pay $5.50/ axle. All large commercial vehicles must be weighed on the GIBA weigh scale and the current weight limit is 80,000 lbs.The GIBA weigh scale is open weekdays only- Monday to Friday from 7:45 AM to 4:45 PM. Vehicles arriving outside of the specified hours will be turned around. Any vehicle weighing more than 80,000 lbs. will not be permitted over the bridge.
ROAD SYSTEM MAINTENANCE: The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority maintains three (3) bridges: the Boca Grande swing bridge and two concrete bridges, plus 2.5 miles of single lane causeway, designated as Charlotte County/State Road 771. No taxpayer federal, state or county taxes are used to pay for the GIBA roads and bridges. Tolls collected are the only source of revenue to maintain GIBA roads and bridges.
STATE AGENCY – TAX EXEMPT STATUS: Florida Tax Exempt Certificate
For Further Information Please Contact:
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Kathy Banson-Verrico, Executive Director
GIBA, P.O. Box 1918, Boca Grande, FL 33921 PH: 941-697-2271