Sarasota officials have been working to get a long-delayed and troubled $12.5 million lift station construction project back on track.
The new Lift Station 87 is being built in Lukewood Park at the southeastern corner of U.S. 41 and Osprey Avenue to replace Lift Station 7 at 935 Pomelo Avenue, close to Hudson Bayou.
The station on Pomelo is being replaced because it is aging, lacks full on-site backup power, is on land not owned by the city and has had a history of malfunctions and sewer spills—including a major 570,000-gallon spill seven years ago into Hudson Bayou.
City officials have blamed the engineering firms Boyle Engineering and AECOM Technology Corp. for failing to move ahead with a key part of the lift-station project that involved micro-tunneling under the bayou for a main sewer pipe.
Once the new lift station at Lukewood Park is completed, the wastewater flows from Lift Station No. 7 will be redirected to the new station.
All of the construction work is expected to take up to 30 months, with the a portion of wasterwater directed to the new lift station in as early as four months, according to the update.
According to a city update earlier this month, the city is taking the following steps:
· Temporarily re-opening Osprey Avenue to two-lane traffic. The roadway was scheduled to open Friday, Dec. 21, according to city officials.
• Hiring a new engineer-of-record for the project—a firm that “understands the “complex components of this project; demonstrates they have the resources… and expertise to address the critical constructability issues.”
• Updated construction plans will undergo a full peer review by an independent firm.
• Construction of the 36-inch sewer line from Lift Station 87 will cross under the bayou. The pipe will be installed through microtunneling construction techniques.
• Lift Station No. 7 will eventually be taken out of service and demolished. The site will be restored and fully landscaped.