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Robert Shuey and Joe Shaw, employees of Tierra Inc., check on the depth of the water table Jan. 31 in one section of the Siesta Public Beach Park. Photo by Norman Schimmel.
Siesta Key Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 5 years ago

'Field work' under way at Siesta Public Beach

by: Rachel Brown Hackney Managing Editor

If you see a couple of men digging into the parking lot at Siesta Public Beach over the next couple of weeks, the odds are good they are part of a crew working under the auspices of the Sarasota County Public Works Department.

With county staff starting final design and permitting work for the planned improvements at the beach park, the crew, employed by the West Palm Beach firm, Tierra Inc., will be collecting soil samples by hand and operating a small drilling rig, Public Works Project Manager Curtis Smith reported last week.

Tierra is a full-service consulting firm with expertise in geotechnical, environmental and construction-materials testing and engineering, according to its website (

“We haven’t started construction,” Smith said. “We want to make sure everybody knows what’s going on.”
The soil samples are critical for designing foundations for new structures and putting in safe pilings, Smith said. Other work will involve measuring the distance to the water table, he said, and running tests designed to provide data about the permeability of various surfaces throughout the park.

The crew members, for example, will be boring into the parking lot at a number of locations, Smith said, “So they know what the existing conditions of the parking lot are like.”

A news release issued by Sarasota County Jan. 27 says, “The information (the crew members) will gather will be used by engineers and architects to design safe building foundations and durable surfaces for roads, parking lots and tennis courts at the park.”

The county news release advises members of the public: “You can help the workers by allowing them the room they need to do their work. This is for your safety as well. We do apologize for any inconvenience this work may cause.”

Smith said he had made certain the Siesta lifeguards and representatives of the Sheriff’s Office knew what was going on, “and have a pretty good idea of where those guys are and what they’re doing.”
Anyone with questions may contact Smith at 915-4111.

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