BRADENTON BEACH – Duncan Seawall, Dock & Boat Lift has repositioned and repaired the floating dock next to the Bridge Street Pier and expects to complete the installation of a boat lift for the Bradenton Beach Police Department next week.
The boat lift installation is expected to be completed well ahead of the Sept. 30 grant funding deadline for the boat lift project.
On Wednesday, Duncan Seawall, Dock & Boat Lift foreman Tom Schied said the boat lift installation would take two to three days to complete once that work started. On Friday, City Attorney Ricinda Perry said the Duncan crew planned to start driving the boat lift pilings on Saturday or Monday. The floating dock was open Friday afternoon and being used by boaters.
Duncan’s work crew, barge crane and other equipment arrived on Tuesday and made quick work of repositioning the floating dock 8 feet to the east, toward the T-end of the pier. That work included the installation of four new pilings.
The dock repairs also included the installation of new roller brackets that connect the floating dock to the dock pilings. The new roller brackets replaced some of the roller brackets that Gibsonton-based Hecker Construction Company used when installing the floating dock in July and early August of 2019. Some of the brackets installed in 2019 were later deemed unsuitable for that specific location and application.
Duncan was brought in to complete the dock repositioning and repairs as a result of discussions that occurred during the Sept. 2 and Sept. 14 Bradenton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meetings.
During the Sept. 2 meeting, Perry and Lt. John Cosby told the CRA members the long-desired boat lift installation must be completed by Sept. 30 if a $50,000 West Coast Inland Navigation District Grant (WCIND) approved by Manatee County commissioners in May 2017 was to pay for the boat lift.
During that meeting, Duncan Seawall General Manager Steve Porter confirmed that the boat lift had to be connected to the west end of the floating dock after the repositioning and repairs were completed.
During the Sept. 2 meeting, the CRA members reconfirmed their previous authorization for Hecker Construction Company to complete the dock repairs and repositioning for $11,600. The CRA members also authorized Duncan Seawall, Dock & Boat Lift to install a 10,000-pound-capacity boat lift for approximately $37,813 after Hecker completed its work – if that timetable could be met.
During a follow-up emergency CRA meeting on Monday, Sept. 14, the CRA members authorized Duncan to reposition and repair the premanufactured floating dock. CRA chairman Ralph Cole said a Hecker representative told him that company could not complete the dock repairs and repositioning in time to meet the Sept. 30 boat lift installation deadline.
“They couldn’t do it until October. We need this done right away,” Cole said. “I want to thank Duncan for stepping in and doing this. This has gone on long enough and we just need to get it across the finish line.”
During Monday’s meeting, Perry read aloud a written statement regarding Duncan’s offer to complete both projects before the boat lift grant money availability expires.
“Chairman Cole has dedicated significant time trying to work with Hecker and finalize the installation of the floating dock to no avail. It has been clear that Hecker is not in a position to accomplish this goal in a timely fashion. Fortunately, we have Duncan and Ronáutica who have understood the different challenges we have faced, and both have jumped in to bring this project across the line,” Perry said.
Regarding past events that also involved the Technomarine Group originally contracted to install the floating dock in 2017, Perry said, “Thank you to Oscar Saá and Ronáutica for providing the materials, shipping and releasing of them from U.S. customs to Bradenton Beach. Ronáutica had every right to retain possession over the floating dock; however, it looked out for the best interest of Bradenton Beach and made sure the city received the product it had paid for even at Ronáutica’s financial loss.
“We all know of the problems following the installation work of Hecker on the floating dock. Understanding the importance and needs of the city, Duncan Seawall has generously offered to undertake the work proposed by Hecker. They will also meet the critical deadlines of the WCIND grant so that our police department will have an essential resource for its marine patrol unit,” Perry said.
“Thank you to Steve Porter, Steve Liebel and all of Duncan Seawall for your support of our law enforcement officers, the city and all of our visitors who will enjoy the Bridge Street Pier even more because of you. This project would have failed but for Duncan’s strong ties and commitment to our community,” Perry said.
She also noted CRA-contracted engineer Joe Foster had already produced the engineering documents needed to repair and position the floating dock and install the boat lift.