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Siesta Key Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 1 year ago

Siesta Key to soon see work on two major projects

Sarasota County will begin the demolition of the Siesta Key Water Reclamation facility and begin replacing a water pipeline near Midnight Pass Road.
by: Brynn Mechem Staff Writer

Siesta Key residents in a few months will  see a slew of demolition vehicles around their community. 

Sarasota County will begin demolition of the Siesta Key Water Reclamation plant and replace a water pipeline that runs along part of Midnight Pass Road in the summer.

Although residents said they would be happy to see the finished product, they are worried about possible disruptions.

During a Jan. 16 workshop, residents expressed concerns about noise, traffic and dust.

Demolition of the water facility, near 5200 Oakmont Place, is set to begin by June at a cost of $90,230.

After the completion of the Siesta Key Master Pump Station, the majority of the infrastructure for the Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, which ranked second-worst in the state for pollution, was shut down in 2018.

The county plans to demolish all tanks, buildings and above-ground structures associated with the treatment plant, though the new master pump station and storage facilities will remain.

Demolition is expected to take four months, with work restricted to 10 hours a day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Underground components will be removed down to about 3 feet and filled.

A portion of Beach Road near the Siesta Key public beach access will be dug up as water pipeline is replaced.

To get the demolition done quickly, Sarasota County construction project manager John Saputo said the county plans to use four track hoes, which are designed to dig up concrete simultaneously, which will cause a lot of noise and dust, something Siesta resident N.D. White is concerned about.

“There’s so much noise and dust already that I can’t even open my doors or windows, and they haven’t even started demolition yet,” White said.

However, White said she’s excited for the end product, which is currently planned to be a fenced-in grass field, though she hopes it might be used for a dog park in the future.

At a 2019 Siesta Key Association meeting, Sarasota County Assistant Utilities Director Dave Cash said that there are no plans to change the lot into something else, but that could change.

“Whether or not it will be up for future public use, there may be opportunities there,” Cash said. “I know in the past there have been some ideas thrown about, such as a kayak launch, dog park, those kinds of things. But at this point, it’s just going to remain a nice mowed grass area that will be maintained under utilities ownership.”

To sort out old pipe systems and replace clay pipes that are still in use, the county will soon begin a water pipe replacement project near Midnight Pass Road.

Around 1,000 to 1,500 feet of pipe will be dug up and replaced with iron pipe. The project will run along the west side of Midnight Pass Road near the Gulf & Bay Club Condominiums, in front of the Siesta Key Fire station and across a portion of Beach Road near the main entrance to Siesta Key Beach.

Nancy Brooking, a Public Works project manager, said there would likely be some brief shutdowns and land closures between May and October.

“There will be notifications,” Brooking said. “It’s not like one day people will wake up, and there will be no water. Contractors will work with the county.”

Because it is the drinking water system that is getting worked on, the water will not be shut down for an extended period of time.

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