BRADENTON BEACH – The contract negotiations to expand the floating dock next to the Bridge Street Pier have entered the final stages.
On Wednesday, Sept. 1, the Bradenton Beach Community Redevelopment (CRA) members unanimously authorized City Attorney Ricinda Perry to proceed with finalizing the proposed draft contract discussed that day with Duncan Seawall, Dock & Boat Lift General Manager Steve Porter. The CRA members directed Perry to bring back a finalized contract for approval in September.
The draft contract presented to the CRA members during Wednesday’s meeting did not include a final cost because the board still needed to make some design decisions that day regarding the dock expansion and the addition of fender pilings between the finger piers. Porter estimated the dock expansion project would cost about $561,000.
The draft contract also did not include an estimated completion date. Porter previously told the CRA members the installation will begin after the dock components are ordered, manufactured and received from North Port-based Golden Marine Systems – a process that will take several weeks. The order will be placed after the contract is finalized and authorized by the CRA board in September.
The scope of the project includes adding nine floating finger piers that will extend perpendicularly from the existing floating dock. The existing dock will also be expanded to the east in a manner that will provide space for three additional finger piers. The finger piers will create free, short-term, public docking for a total of 24 or 25 additional boats, with the easternmost slip possibly being designated in the future for use by independently operated water taxis and/or an often discussed, not-yet-pursued, county-operated ferry service from downtown Bradenton.
Each finger pier will be connected at one end to the floating dock and at the other end to a piling. Two additional mooring/fender pilings will be placed between each set of finger piers. The fender pilings will provide additional points for the docked boats to tie off to. The space between each finger pier and pair of pilings will accommodate a boat that is up to 13.5 feet wide.
Porter told the CRA members the individual finger piers could later be adjusted and reconfigured to accommodate different-sized boats, at an additional cost.
The CRA-funded project also includes the replacement of the aging city-owned dinghy dock near the foot of the pier boardwalk. The existing wooden dinghy dock will be replaced by a new dinghy dock that features Trex decking.
Earlier this year, the Manatee County Commission agreed to provide the CRA with up to $850,000 in matching funds for the forthcoming dock expansion/dinghy dock project.
Other Duncan projects
In January 2017, North Palm Beach-based Technomarine was contracted to install a new floating dock next to the Bridge Street Pier. The new dock was to replace the original floating dock rendered unuseable due to repeated storm damage and wave action.
After several prolonged delays created by Technomarine, the floating dock manufactured in Spain by Ronautica Marinas was installed alongside the pier by the Gibsonton-based Hecker Construction Company in late July/early August of 2019.
Due to ongoing structural and safety concerns, Duncan Seawall, Dock & Boat Lift was later contracted to make additional repairs and modifications to the work done by Hecker Construction. Manatee County reimbursed the CRA for $125,000 of the $283,000 in total dock replacement project costs.
Manatee County also provided 50% matching funds for the replacement of the Bridge Street Pier that Duncan Seawall, Dock & Boat Lift completed at an approximate cost of $1.5 million in 2015.
As of Friday, Duncan was nearing the completion of a state-funded city dredging project in the navigable waters along the Bradenton Beach shoreline between the Bridge Street Pier and Leffis Key.