Increased costs anticipated for Bradenton Beach dock project

Increased costs anticipated for Bradenton Beach dock project
Pier team facilitator Sam Speciale presents the dock installation estimates to CRA members. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

BRADENTON BEACH – Bradenton Beach’s long-delayed $119,980 floating dock project may now cost an additional $45,302 to $69,456 to complete.

On Wednesday, April 3, Police Chief and pier team facilitator Sam Speciale presented Bradenton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) members with two dock installation estimates he received from Hecker Construction Company Operations Manager Eric Shaffer on March 25.

Hecker estimates $81,600 to install the previously-purchased floating dock components using yet-to-be-purchased wooden pilings, or $105,754 to complete the project using yet-to-be-purchased composite pilings.

These estimates took CRA members by surprise and they requested a special follow-up meeting on Wednesday, April 10. The members asked Speciale to bring back a second opinion from another engineer regarding the number of pilings needed. Speciale was also asked to bring back a second opinion from Duncan Seawall, Dock & Boat Lift regarding Hecker’s cost estimates. In 2015-16, Duncan built the Bridge Street Pier; the floating dock will be installed next to the pier.

The original $119,980 contract the CRA and Technomarine agreed to in early 2017 included $27,000 for dock installation, pilings included. Earlier this year, the CRA released Technomarine of its remaining contractual obligations due to the lengthy delays incurred.

Technomarine had already contacted Hecker Construction about serving as a dock installation subcontractor.

Until Wednesday’s meeting, CRA members assumed Hecker would install the floating dock for the $27,000 cited in the now-invalid Technomarine contract. The CRA does not currently have a new contract with Hecker or any other firm to finish the dock project.

Increased costs anticipated for Bradenton Beach dock project
The premanufactured dock sections are being stored at the Hecker Construction Company yard in Gibsonton. – City of Bradenton Beach | Submitted

The aluminum-framed, composite dock decking sections have been sitting at Hecker’s construction yard in Gibsonton since being delivered there in September. Technomarine then delivered the dock floats to Hecker on March 4. The float delivery fulfilled the contractual release agreement City Attorney Ricinda Perry and Technomarine attorney Julianne Frank negotiated in December.

A few hours after the April 3 CRA meeting ended, Speciale received an email from Shaffer that said, “Per our phone conversation, the price of $27,000 that Techno gave the city was for us just to assemble floats and deliver them to the job site. Technomarine never spoke to us about the pilings or anything else to do with the project.”

More money

Hecker’s $81,600 estimate includes $37,000 to provide and install 36 PVC-wrapped wooden pilings and an additional $17,800 to provide and install the additional hoop brackets and rollers needed to attach the dock sections to the wood pilings.

Hecker’s $105,754 estimate includes $67,704 to provide and install 25 composite pilings and an additional $11,250 for the hoop brackets and rollers.

Both Hecker estimates include $20,000 to attach the floats to the decking, $2,800 to remove the existing pilings, $2,000 for mobilization and demobilization and $2,000 to transport the floats to the pier job site.

Increased costs anticipated for Bradenton Beach dock project
Police Chief Sam Speciale, Chad Kelly and Eric Shaffer from the Hecker Construction Company and Community Redevelopment Agency chairman Ralph Cole visited the pier on March 14. – Sherman Baldwin | Submitted

During the April 3 meeting, Speciale cited financial figures provided by City Treasurer Shayne Thompson. According to Thompson, the CRA paid Technomarine $83,682 of the $119,980 agreed to in 2017. This leaves $36,298 in remaining budgeted project funds.

As part of its 50 percent cost-sharing agreement with Manatee County, the CRA has received $41,841 in county reimbursements. In March, the CRA and the county extended that interlocal funding agreement until year’s end.

Speciale told CRA members the county originally agreed to contribute up to $125,000 for a project not to exceed $250,000. Perry questioned whether the county is willing to reimburse the CRA for the additional costs now being discussed. She suggested asking the county’s engineer to review the engineering work Clarsen Consulting Engineering did on Hecker’s behalf.

On Feb. 6, CRA members discussed but never formally approved a $9,200 estimate from Hecker Construction for engineering and permitting services. According to Thompson, the CRA has not yet been invoiced for those services.

Speciale said if wood pilings are used, Hecker’s engineer calls for a piling every five feet. Speciale said Building Official Steve Gilbert questions whether Hecker’s engineer is “over-engineering” the number of pilings needed.

Speciale said he was told the piling requirements increased after Hurricane Irma hit in September 2017, but he did not specify which agency or building code now requires more pilings than would have been required when the project was contracted in 2017.

On Friday, Gilbert said he’s not aware of any changes to the Florida Building Code that would require more pilings. On Friday, Perry said she was not aware of any new engineering requirements imposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

“This issue concerns me,” Perry said.

The packet for the April 10 CRA meeting includes two proposed budget amendment requests. If approved, the proposed $45,302 CRA budget amendment would cover the additional cost to complete the dock project using wooden pilings. The proposed $69,456 budget amendment would cover the additional cost to complete the project using composite pilings.

Increased costs anticipated for Bradenton Beach dock project
What remained of the previous storm-damaged floating dock was removed in August 2017. – Joe Hendricks | Sun