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Lift Station 87
Sarasota Thursday, Sep. 5, 2019 2 weeks ago

Lift station costs expected to exceed $60 million

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The city could end up spending eight times its original budget to construct Lift Station 87.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

Expenses associated with the city’s Lift Station 87 project continue to climb.

The city’s latest cost estimates, which resident Martin Hyde presented during the open-to-the-public period at Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, place the cost of building the wastewater facility between $62.9 million and $67.9 million.

The city has spent $42.3 million so far and anticipates it will spend an additional $20.6 million to $25.6 million to complete the project, located at 1900 Mound St. in Luke Wood Park. When completed, the lift station will handle a third of the city’s wastewater.

In September 2017, the city estimated the project would cost $54.1 million.

The city anticipates the project will be complete by March 2021, nearly a decade after the city originally hoped to finish building the facility. The Lift Station 87 project has faced lengthy delays and significant cost increases. In 2008, when the city picked a location for the lift station, it estimated the construction would cost $8.5 million. In 2011, when the city selected a contractor, it targeted late 2012 as a completion date.

The city hoped to recover as much as $20 million it had spent on the project when it sued AECOM Technical Services, an engineering company that worked on the project. In November 2018, however, a jury ruled AECOM owed the city no damages. Additionally, the jury ordered the city to pay $686,233 to former contractor Westra Construction Corp. for breach of contract.

The city has spent $9.1 million on legal expenses associated with the project. The City Commission held a closed meeting Aug. 12 to discuss a settlement strategy but took no action.

On Aug. 29, the city announced it completed underground work on the station and will begin on the two-story structure soon. As part of the project, the city intends to close a segment of Osprey Avenue between the Hudson Bayou and Alta Vista Street for eight months beginning in summer 2020.

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