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Sarasota Thursday, Apr. 6, 2017 7 months ago

City prepares for water main project

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The city is replacing 3.5 miles of water mains near U.S. 41 near Alta Vista and Arlington Park beginning in May, working to keep residents updated on the project.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

Next month, the city will begin a $9.1 million water main replacement project that extends from Payne Park to the Arlington Park neighborhood.

The project, scheduled for completion in late 2018, is designed to replace more than 20,000 feet of aging pipes. The city is contracting with Jon F. Swift Construction and Atkins Engineering to complete the project, which cost $1.2 million to design.

The water mains in question are more than 50 years old, and much of the infrastructure is made from asbestos cement.

“The pipes have reached their lifetime, basically,” said John Eash of Atkins Engineering. “There have been breaks along 41 that have caused emergency situations. This is trying to prevent that from happening in the future.”

The project team appeared at Saturday’s Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations meeting, part of the city’s outreach effort before construction commences. The team previously presented an update on the project at an Arlington Park Neighborhood Association meeting in March.

The phasing of the project is still being finalized, but initial plans called for five phases of work. The first would focus on residential streets in Arlington Park, extending from Wisteria Street to Prospect Street. The final phase would make improvements on U.S. 41 between Arlington Street and Floyd Street.

The project is scheduled to complete work on most street segments within a month. Residents should not lose water service for more than a few hours when the water main switches over.

The city has set up a dedicated website to keep the public informed regarding the progress of the project. City project manager Bill Swick said residents would also receive notifications regarding the project in their utility bills.

On Monday, the City Commission approved an agreement with the contractor, a last step before construction begins in May. Knowing the water main replacement is a significant undertaking, the project team said it hopes to work with residents to mitigate the effects to the best of its ability.

“We want to make this process as painless as possible,” said Emmalee Legler, marketing manager with Jon F. Swift Construction. “There will be some pain points. I’m not going to sugarcoat it.”

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