As a resident of north Siesta Key, Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson has had to bear the sight of the abandoned work site below the North Bridge since August. She won't have to for much longer.
Commissioners gave county staff approval to move forward on the Bay Island Park seawall replacement project with Duncan Seawall, Dock & Boat Lift LLC. The roughly $1 million project aimed at replacing 800 feet of the seawall on the south end of the park beneath the bridge has closed off portions of the area since March 2014. The new contractor should finish the project seven months after work begins.
"It's a mess," Patterson said during a commission meeting Wednesday.
The project’s original contractor, CB Construction Services Corp., stopped work after the Aug. 27 death of Cresente Bautista, 59, the firm’s president and CEO. A passing boat found Bautista’s body on a sandbar in Big Pass. Foul play was not suspected, according to a Sarasota Police report.
Before that, Erickson Consulting Engineers, the firm overseeing the project's engineering, had rejected some of that firm's concrete work and installation.
"We don't believe we're going to be (financially) in the hole," said Public Works Director Isaac Brownman. Despite the project's troubled history, the surety bond from the original contract, a West Coast Inland Navigation District grant and unused funds will cover remaining costs.