Confederate monument repairs estimated

Confederate monument
The Confederate monument was erected in downtown Bradenton in 1924 and removed in 2017. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

BRADENTON – It’s going to cost the county an estimated $41,500 to repair and relocate the Confederate monument damaged in August when it was removed from the grounds of the Manatee County Historic Courthouse in downtown Bradenton.

On Nov. 30, John Bonacci, from the Karins Engineering Group (KEG), sent Manatee County Project Manager Michael DiPinto a letter detailing the repairs needed and the estimated repair costs:

  • Repair materials (stainless steel rod, epoxies, coloring agents) $1,500
  • Repair shop fee $10,000
  • Transport and reassembly fee $25,000
  • Foundation construction $5,000.

According to Bonacci’s letter, “KEG has conducted a survey and engineering analysis of the confederate (sic) monument which was damaged during an August relocation. Video of the relocation operation shows the spire tipping off of the monument base and impacting the ground, resulting in a through fracture of the 15-foot tall spire approximately five feet from the top.”

KEG conducted a field survey of the monument on Oct. 26 at the monument’s current storage location.

“The monument was in three separate pieces stored under a tarp. The pieces consisted of the monument base and the main spire, which broke into two pieces during the relocation. Several smaller localized fractures were observed at the base of the spire, but these separated pieces were not present at the storage site and are assumed missing,” according to Bonacci’s letter.

“During the site visit, Ardaman and Associates performed non-destructive testing to determine whether additional cracks existed in the main spire. Ultrasonic pulse velocity scanning was done at regular intervals along the length of the spire and no signs of additional cracking were reported,” according to the letter.

“Stainless steel threaded rod dowels will be used to connect pieces of the monument. Dowels will be bonded in drill holes into the stone with a structural anchoring epoxy. Mating surfaces of stone will be joined with a stone epoxy,” Bonacci wrote, noting that stone dust mixed into the stone epoxy would be used for color matching.

What next?

The repairs will be made when the stored monument is relocated to a new public display site. Manatee County commissioners have not determined where the monument will be relocated.

According to County Commissioner Carol Whitmore, Sen. Bill Galvano is assisting the county in the efforts to determine if the monument can be relocated to Gamble Plantation Historic State Park in Ellenton. Doing so would require permission from the state.

In October, the Manatee County Veteran’s Council notified county officials that its members do not support the monument joining the war monuments and memorial displayed at Veterans Park in downtown Bradenton.

Related coverage:

Letter affirms Confederate monument opposition

Confederate monument damaged in move

Confederate memorial prompts protests, debate

Veterans Council rejects monument relocation

Monument will be moved