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Pipe work flows along in Emerald Harbor

Residents happy with pace of yearlong project to replace sewer, water lines.

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  • | 10:20 a.m. October 3, 2018
Pipe in a front yard of Binnacle Point Drive
Pipe in a front yard of Binnacle Point Drive
  • Longboat Key
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The $3 million Emerald Harbor Utilities and Street Upgrade Project is a quarter of the way completed and on schedule to be finished by June 2019, Longboat Key officials said.

And residents said they couldn’t be more pleased.

“They have done an exemplary job to this point,” said Jim Smith, president of the Emerald Harbor Homeowners Association.

In July, work began to replace all sewer and water lines in Emerald Harbor, part of the town’s master plan to replace aging infrastructure on the island. Funding for the project was set aside years ago from water and sewer fees. Gas tax revenue is paying for the street-resurfacing portion of the work.

But a lot of work remains in the yearlong project.

The next step will be the installation of a water main on Emerald Harbor Drive, said Public Works Director Isaac Brownman.

Once that portion of the project is completed, pressure and bacterial testing will take place. If those results are satisfactory, the water main will be placed in service and the old pipes decommissioned, he said. Work will also continue on Old Compass Road.

The final phase of the project will be road resurfacing, Brownman said.

An unpleasant odor drove the decision to embark on the project. Saltwater in the soil has, over time, corroded the underground metal pipes in the 80-home Emerald Harbor, also leading to slow draining sinks and sinkholes on the roads. Those metal pipes are being replaced with PVC pipes, which are corrosion-resistant and should last 60 to 80 years, town officials said.

While it takes some time to get accustomed to having pipes in their yards and driving around orange traffic cones and construction equipment, Emerald Harbor residents say they are happy with the pace of the work.

“We are very pleased,” said Chris Dumas, vice president of the homeowners association. “They have a lot of equipment and trailers here. The vast majority of the work is currently being done on Binnacle Point Drive, where underground drilling is taking place,” he said.

Work is being performed by Magnum Builders of Sarasota and its subcontractors.


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