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A contractor this spring plans to install a new 8-inch sewer force main under the north Siesta Bridge, to replace 40-year-old city of Sarasota infrastructure. Courtesy of Stantec Consulting Services.
Siesta Key Thursday, Mar. 15, 2012 8 years ago

Sewer project slated to begin

by: Rachel Brown Hackney Managing Editor

Two representatives of the city of Sarasota say they are close to having in hand the final permit they need to begin work on a sewer force-main project on the north end of Siesta Key, with the work scheduled to be completed before bridge renovations begin June 5.

Senior Project Manager Dave McAnaney, of the city’s consulting firm Stantec, said he resubmitted the permit application to the Florida Department of Transportation’s Sarasota staff March 6. “As far as I know, there’re no problems,” he said March 12.

The permit would allow the sewer project contractor to use the FDOT right of way on the south side of the north Siesta bridge.

However, Cindy Clemmons, a spokeswoman for FDOT, wrote in an email to the Pelican Press March 12 that the last information she had received indicated FDOT staff still was awaiting a 2012 permit application.

The previous applications, which were submitted in 2010 and 2011 had expired.

Because the contractor hired by the city of Sarasota “(wants) to get to work April 1,” she added, “we anticipate they will have everything submitted to our permit office shortly. We’ll expedite the review for timely execution.”

When told of Clemmons’ email, McAnaney said, “Apparently, there’s still a disconnect.” Nonetheless, he said, “I don’t expect any problems.”

The contractor, Intercounty Engineering of Pompano Beach, is on schedule to start as early as April 1, McAnaney confirmed. The earliest the project would be completed, according to Intercounty’s schedule, he said, was April 30.

Glenn Marzluf, general manager of the city of Sarasota’s Utilities Division, said the latest the work would be completed would be May 20, according to the schedule he had provided FDOT.

During a Jan. 5 Siesta Key Association presentation, Albert Rosenstein, the FDOT engineering manager who is heading up the north Siesta bridge project, voiced worries about the timing of the sewer line installation. When a reporter told McAnaney Monday that the contractor’s planned completion date seemed designed to make sure his employees were out of the way before FDOT’s contractor went to work, McAnaney replied, “That’s the idea.”

“Mr. Rosenstein’s just a little concerned that we can deliver what we have said we can deliver,” in terms of the project schedule, Marzluf said. “We’ll get it done.”

At worst, Marzluf added, if the sewer-project contractor ran into problems, he could ask the workers to pack up all their materials and vacate the area while the bridge renovations were under way. It was not necessary, Marzluf said, for the sewer project to be finished before the bridge work was completed.

Still, he said, “Something really drastic would have to happen,” to prevent the work from being finished on time.

During the January SKA meeting, Rosenstein pointed out, “(FDOT) has gone through a lot of hoops to make sure our (bridge) project is as painless as possible for folks out here (on the Key).”

When he asked Marzluf and McAnaney why the sewer work had to be undertaken this spring, McAnaney replied that the city had had to obtain about a dozen permits for the work, involving four or five agencies. The contract the city expected to award Intercounty Engineering would expire Nov. 1, he added during the discussion. If the work were not completed by then, he said, the city would have to apply for permit extensions.

McAnaney said the $224,000 Siesta project involves the replacement of a 40-year-old, cast-iron sewer force-main line. It is the first of several city projects designed to replace sewer infrastructure under bodies of water or along the tops of bridges, Marzluf explained to the SKA audience in January. The initiative was designed to guard against sewer leaks in local waterways, he added.

Rosenstein also raised concerns during the Jan. 5 SKA meeting about where the contractor would stage the work, in relation to the bridge.

McAnaney said Monday that the contractor would use the south side of the Siesta bridge for his operations. The contractor would be drilling from west to east, he added.

Other FDOT project updates
The Florida Department of Transportation remains on schedule to begin renovations on the north Siesta Key bridge June 5, an FDOT public information officer has reported.

Another open house on the project will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. May 22, at Siesta Key Chapel, 4615 Gleason Ave., to provide an update to residents, Jennifer Stafford said.

The contractor held a pre-construction meeting last month, she said, but she anticipated it would be another week or so before any project details could be released to the public.

FDOT also has announced cost estimates for the construction of six pedestrian crosswalks on Midnight Pass Road, between the Beach Road and Stickney Point Road intersections.

Brian Bollas, planning and environmental manager with Parsons Brinckerhoff, of Tampa, an FDOT consultant, said Monday that the total cost of the design, from inception to the development of the option chosen by a majority of condominium residents along the affected portion of road, was $35,000. The construction cost has been estimated at $156,000, with a 45-day timeline anticipated for the work, once it is under way.

The construction figure includes the use of reflective paint and the addition of flashing beacon signage, to alert oncoming traffic to pedestrians in the crosswalks, Bollas said.

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