Throughout the holiday week, YourObserver.com will be counting down the top 12 stories of 2011 (one from each month) from our Longboat, East County and Sarasota Observers and the Pelican Press. Check back each day for a reprinting — along with any relevant updates — of the biggest news items of the year.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED Jan. 20, 2011
Siesta Key residents inconvenienced by Shell Road work crews will have to be patient through the end of February, when a Sarasota city project to install a new water pipeline under Sarasota Bay to the south end of Lido Beach will be finished.
“There’s some heavy equipment and an open bore hole out there, so for the safety of pedestrians we’ve had to block a portion of the area,” Utilities Technical Manager Dale Haas explained.
“A directional drill is being used to install a new line 90 feet under Sarasota Big Pass.”
The $450,000 project has been looming for almost two decades, since an old 16-inch water line between South Lido and Siesta Key began to leak in the early 1990s. A new 10-inch pipe was slipped through the old one for a temporary fix that has lasted 20 years.
“With the construction of new condominiums and high-rise apartments on the south end of Lido Key, the 10-inch pipe began to raise some fire protection concerns,” Haas said. “So we decided to re-establish the
capacity of a 16-inch line under Big Pass.”
In late January, crews will begin to pull a new, 2,100-foot, heavy-duty water pipeline through the bore hole. Then a flushing and testing process will be conducted to satisfy health department regulations.
Barring complications, all the work should be done by the end of February.
“We decided to do this during the winter months when fewer people go to the beach,” Haas said. “Our contractor has worked with neighbors, and we had to provide one gentleman with a gate. A temporary fence will be removed by the end of February.”
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