Day dock to open in early 2018

Day dock delivery
The walkway from the historic Bridge Street Pier still leads to open water pending the arrival of a new floating dock - Joe Hendricks | Sun

BRADENTON BEACH – The $119,980 floating public day dock is now scheduled to arrive in late January and be installed in February.

Prefabricated off-site in sections, the new dock will be installed alongside the historic Bridge Street Pier by North Palm Beach-based Technomarine Construction Inc. (TCI).

During the Wednesday, Dec. 6 Pier Team meeting, Bradenton Beach Police Chief and Pier Team Facilitator Sam Speciale was asked about the arrival of the new dock and City Commissioner Jake Spooner asked if the contract with Technomarine included a delivery deadline.

Speciale said the last update he received from Technomarine came before Thanksgiving. He noted that Ben Talbert was no longer the city’s primary contact with Technomarine. He said he’d established communications with Technomarine Director of Operations Anna Bennett and was awaiting an update.

During the November Pier Team meeting, Speciale referenced an Oct. 27 email from Talbert that said, “The docks are in production and will ship in a few weeks.”

Right now, the dock is in fabrication. It is scheduled to be delivered to the site toward the end of January and installed in February.”
Erik Sanderson, Technomarine CEO

On Dec. 7, Speciale sent an email to Bennett seeking a project update. She wrote back that she was working on it and would get back to him Friday morning.

On Dec. 8, Technomarine CEO Erik Sanderson promptly responded by phone to an inquiry about the update that The Sun emailed Bennett.

Regarding Speciale’s request for a project update, Sanderson said, “We checked with our plant and our subcontractors and we told him we’d have it to him today. If I’m not mistaken, it was just sent to him. Right now, the dock is in fabrication. It is scheduled to be delivered to the site toward the end of January and installed in February. I’ll make sure on Monday that they have a final construction schedule with hard dates in front of them. Due to three hurricanes, the plants and suppliers in the marine industry are backed up. Now that this has been brought to my attention, the communication will be better, I can assure you.”

Speciale received an email from Bennett around that same time updating him on the schedule Sanderson provided The Sun.

“Sorry for the delay. I just heard from Erik that the docks will arrive in January. I will make sure we communicate with you often and give you updates going forward,” Bennett wrote.

In June 2016, damage sustained during Tropical Storm Colin caused the public dock to be temporarily closed. What remained was reopened in time for the Fourth of July weekend.

In July 2017, Tropical Storm Emily dealt the dock its final blow and the rest of it was removed.

The dock project is being funded and overseen by the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). Chaired by City Commissioner Ralph Cole, the CRA selected Technomarine as its preferred contractor in January.

Dated Jan. 19, the original construction agreement with Technomarine stated, “Time is of the essence in all respects under this contract. Services shall commence upon the full execution of this contract and all work shall be completed within six months.”

The agreement also said, “TCI shall not be considered in default if such failure arises out of causes reasonably beyond the control of TCI or its subcontractors. Such causes include, but are not limited to: acts of God; natural or public health emergencies; labor disputes; freight embargoes; and abnormally severe and unusual weather conditions.”

The CRA approved a revised construction agreement with Technomarine in March. According to City Treasurer Shayne Thompson the city has paid Technomarine approximately $60,000 to date. Using resort tax revenues, Manatee County will reimburse the CRA for 50 percent of the contracted project costs.

The CRA has proposed a second phase of dock construction that would entail finger docks extending south to provide additional public docking.