BRADENTON BEACH – City Commissioners have authorized a $302,626 contract with Westra Construction to expedite drainage improvements and rights of way and driveway restorations along Avenue C.
Minus Commissioner Randy White, who was absent, the commission unanimously approved three separate motions that will fast-track by nearly a year the Avenue C improvements.
During its Thursday, Oct. 18 meeting, the commission agreed to un-restrict $400,000 of the restricted $450,000 pier fund that had previously been set aside to self-insure the now-insured historic Bridge Street Pier.
The commission then approved the contract with Westra – the same firm that’s been working on Avenue C for much of 2018 as part of Manatee County’s force main replacement project. The release of the pier funds will provide the funds needed to do the project in fiscal year 2018-19 instead of fiscal year 2019-20. The required budget amendments needed for accounting purposes were also approved.
City Engineer Lynn Burnett said Southwest Florida Water Management District will reimburse the city $70,000 in the current fiscal year and $70,000 in the following fiscal year for the stormwater portions of the project.
The drainage improvements will include the installation of vertical infiltration trenches designed to reduce flooding by creating more space to store rainwater while it percolates downward into the freshwater aquifer.
Unlike previous infiltration trenches installed in Bradenton Beach and elsewhere on the Island, the Avenue C trenches will be filled with 57 stone, but then topped with a honeycombed, heavy-duty plastic eco-grid than can be filled with 89 stone, 250 shell mix or topped with sod, grass, brick pavers or other surface materials. Burnett told the commission the white lime rock 57 stone used for previous stormwater projects will not be visible when the work is done.
The contract also calls for Westra to restore to their previous condition the Avenue C driveway ends that they tore up during the force main replacement project.
The contract with Westra states the entire project must be completed by March 25, and Westra will be charged $1,000 for each business day after that if the project runs long. Burnett told the commission she is hopeful the project will be completed well before the contracted completion date.
The commission also authorized Burnett to provide $50,438 in design and engineering services for the Avenue C projects. That money will come from the $70,625 currently budgeted for those services.
The stormwater and drainage improvements will include the installation of more WaStop check valves that will help prevent tidal waters from flowing back into the drainage outfall pipes. And at the request of the commission, Avenue C will be graded and paved in a manner that ensures the proper flow of rainwater to the outfall pipes that empty into Sarasota Bay.
The first large-scale use of eco-grid in Bradenton Beach will also serve as a test case for stormwater and drainage projects to be planned next for Avenue B.