Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Lift Station Could Cost $42M

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Lift Station Could Cost $42M

Article excerpt

PUBLIC WORKS

SARASOTA -- New estimates from engineers show that Lift Station 87 ultimately could cost more than $42 million and some elements of the work may go on until at least 2020.

Those new figures top earlier estimates that put the cost of the troubled sewage project in Luke Wood Park closer to $27 million with a completion date near 2018.

The actual cost and timeline for the project is still evolving. In a special meeting with the City Commission on Monday, engineers laid out multiple options for city staff and officials to consider.

Rising costs and delays have plagued the project since 2011, when an earlier effort, under another engineering firm, ran into construction problems

The lift station is being built to route one-third of the city's sewage under Hudson Bayou but has proven difficult for engineers trying to tunnel under the waterway. It has been in the works since an older facility began spilling wastewater more than 10 years ago.

All of the options presented to the City Commission would cost more than earlier estimates. But some of them might not even work, the engineers said.

The best option, the engineers said, was to continue with the strategy of microtunneling under Hudson Bayou, but tunneling deeper to avoid the problems that stopped the project before.

That would mean spending another $32 million on top of what has already been spent on the project, said Robert Garland, the project manager on the site. The total cost of the project would then reach more than $42 million because more than

$10 million has already been spent.

In the end, the commissioners faced few good choices. David Coe, a resident living near the project, said he had been frustrated by the delays for years and urged the city commissioners to move forward.

"We've been through several years of promises, prognostications, claims that things were going to get better," Coe said. …

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