The Manatee County Board of County Commissioners unanimously ratified a $14,091,190 contract today with Hayward Baker, Inc. for first phase repairs to the Lake Manatee Dam.
An annual inspection conducted by a private consultant determined the core of the dam, which provides drinking water to more than 300,000 residents in Manatee and Sarasota counties, may be compromised due to erosion.
Since commissioners were informed Feb. 14 by county utilities staff about the need for repairs to the 50-year-old dam, an engineering firm had been inspecting it to define the specific fixes.
The engineering firm, AMEC Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc., determined repairs will be more extensive than originally thought and will come in two phases.
Costs for repairs were initially expected to run from $3 million to $7 million.
The $14 million contract with Hayward Baker, Inc. only covers phase one repairs, which will be paid for with county reserves.
The second phase repairs are still undefined and will come at an additional cost.
County staff emphasized second phase costs would be much smaller than $14 million.
Hayward Baker has already mobilized at the dam to complete phase one work.
The majority of the work will be done by June 1, before the rainy season, but the complete phase one repairs will be finished by Oct. 31.
“This is a lot of money,” said Mark Simpson, Manatee County water division manager. “But it’s a good news story. The dam didn’t fail. There was no loss of property or injuries. We found the problem. We have a methodology to fix it. And we can get it done before putting anybody at additional risk.”
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