The city of Sarasota has attained the final permit from the Florida Department of Transportation required to begin work replacing the aging sewer force-main pipes under the north Siesta bridge. The permit will allow the contractor, Intercounty Engineering of Pompano Beach, to begin sub-aqueous work as early as Sunday, April 1, and work is expected to be completed in time to avoid interfering with this summer’s north Siesta bridge rehabilitation project.
According to Dave McAneny, senior project manager for the city’s consulting firm, Stantec, the project will replace the existing pipes by drilling from the west side of the bridge, pulling 8-inch pipe through the bored holes from east to west, and then performing modifications to connect it to the existing pipe. The first construction meeting will be held today, and crews will likely begin working Monday, April 2.
During the project, the contractor will be using the FDOT right of way on the south side of the bridge, which was initially a point of concern for FDOT, which feared delays might interrupt the north Siesta bridge rehabilitation project, scheduled to start June 5. Residents and Village merchants expressed concerns that delays to the bridge rehabilitation project would have a negative effect on business as season comes to a close.
But according to McAneny, everyone is now in agreement with the project’s timeline as outlined by the FDOT permit, which requires Intercounty Engineering to have the project completed and the area cleared by May 20 — providing FDOT sufficient time and access to begin setting up equipment for the bridge rehabilitation project.
The estimated cost of the sewer force-main project is $224,000, and it will replace the existing 40-year-old, cast-iron sewer force-main line with polyvinyl chloride pipe on land and high-density polyethylene pipe for the waterway crossing.
McAneny indicated that possible failure due to the age of the existing pipes was the main concern and that the PVC and HDPE pipes do not corrode.
This is the first of several city projects designed to replace Siesta Key’s sewer infrastructure. Residents can expect short-term lane closures throughout the construction.