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Longboat Key Thursday, May. 7, 2009 8 years ago

Contractors attend pre-bid meeting

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Nine marine contractors attended a pre-bid meeting Wednesday, April 29 for two permeable, adjustable-type groins that will be built behind The Islander Club to counteract the area’s fast-eroding beach.

The meeting gave the contractors a chance to ask questions in an open forum together before putting together competitive bids for the unusual project.

Boca Raton-based Coastal Planning & Engineering engineer Doug Mann explained to the group that structures like these groins have not been built since the 1960s. And the only groin in the area that looks anything like what the town will build sits a mile south, behind The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort.

Bids for the project are due by 2 p.m. May 27, at Town Hall, at which time Purchasing Manager Gerry Wilson will review them for 15 days before making a decision.

It’s the town’s intent to select a contractor as soon as possible, because the unique timetable for the project will require the selected contractor to prepare for months in advance.

Public Works Director Juan Florensa explained that the permit conditions for the two groins come from the federal government.

“Sea turtles nest on this beach in the summer, and we cannot do any construction from May 1 through Oct. 31 for that reason,” Florensa told the group. “Our intent is to award the permit early so you are ready to go on Nov. 1 and (the project) can be completed before sea turtles come back to the island the following May.”

The hired contractor will not have direct access to the groin project from The Islander Club. The town, however, received an easement to use the neighboring, vacant lot to the south that was previously known as Villas Am Meer, or Benedict Estates, 2251 Gulf of Mexico Drive. Equipment can be mobilized there, and access to the project will be allowed from that site. The contractor will also be able to use nearby beach access points for access. Overlook Park can also be used to load and unload materials from a barge for direct Gulf of Mexico access.

Once construction begins, Florensa said a best-case scenario for completion of the groins is May 2010.

The groins will be 225 feet long and will measure 11 feet and 4 inches wide. Both groins will be capped with a concrete deck and will sit just to the south and north of the condominium complex.

The approximately $2.5 million project was previously approved for 22.79% cost sharing with the state. The town spent approximately $200,000 to design and permit the project.

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