The $2.4 million pipeline upsizing project along Gulf of Mexico Drive from Bay Isles Road south to the end of the Key will be less of an eyesore for Key residents in the coming weeks.
In an Aug. 5 memo sent to Town Manager Bruce St. Denis, Public Works Director Juan Florensa said the project that involves replacing miles of old asbestos cement water main pipe “is nearing completion.”
“The main pipeline work along Gulf of Mexico Drive is essentially completed,” Florensa wrote.
However, the inconvenience that affected motorists the past months will shift to Longboat Key homeowners from Bay Isles Road to the south end of the Key.
In the next 14 days, the reduced speed limit signs and traffic control signs will be removed from Gulf of Mexico Drive.
But the contractor, which Florensa anticipated will be complete with the project by Sept. 28, will soon be connecting the new 18,000 feet of linear pipes to Longboat Key residences.
“As the contractor switches services and lateral connections, there will be water-service interruptions to utility customers,” Florensa wrote. “We will make every attempt to minimize the number and duration of these interruptions.”
And, in accordance with Health Department regulations, certain types of service connections will require precautionary “boil water” notices.
Florensa and Town Engineer Anne Ross said any planned interruption of service/boil water notices to affected customers would be notified via door hangers and press releases.
“We will give residents plenty of notice,” said Ross, who believes service interruptions will begin occurring in about a month.
The elimination of the water-pipe construction project, however, will be met with a new type of inconvenience for Longboat Key motorists.
South GMD paving begins
The Florida Department of Transportation will begin a $2.3 million Gulf of Mexico Drive repaving project for the Sarasota County portion of the highway beginning Aug. 23.
The paving project, however, will occur only between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Motorists will experience temporary nighttime lane closures during construction activities, according to FDOT Public Information Officer Darren Alfonso.
That’s a far cry from last year’s paving project for the Manatee County portion of Gulf of Mexico Drive, which occurred during daytime hours and created some major traffic backups during the hot summer months.
The paving project is expected to be complete in February 2011 and involves removing old asphalt and resurfacing the road, shoulder work, curb and gutter modifications and the addition of new sidewalks, pavement markings and necessary highway signs.
Florensa said the town worked together with FDOT to push back the paving project from May until August, so the bulk of the pipeline upsizing project in the area would be complete before paving begins.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].