TREASURE ISLAND — From undertaking major roadway drainage improvements to rehabilitating sewer lift stations and landscaping the East Causeway, Treasure Island plans to launch three major public works projects in the next several months.
During a Sept. 6 council meeting, City Manager Amy Davis updated city commissioners on three major roadway drainage projects, utilizing $900,000 allocated by the state legislature last year.
The Isle of Capri drainage project was scheduled to start on Sept. 12, with construction planned along Second Street East in Isle of Capri, from Capri Circle South to the end of Second Street East at Key Capri. Selected valley gutters are being removed and replaced in preparation for milling and resurfacing that will begin sometime in November. Residents are advised to expect traffic delays and lane changes through the end of September.
The following week a similar roadway project will begin on Paradise Island Drive, then in the first week of October a major drainage project will commence on Gulf Boulevard in Sunset Beach.
Davis told commissioners these road projects will each be a couple of months long, with Sunset Beach reconstruction scheduled to end just before January.
“The Sunset Beach project will probably be the most difficult because of the tight area that we have to work in,” the city manager said. Traffic will have to be redirected.
“It’s exciting that they’re happening, but a little uncomfortable during the process,” Davis said. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and pardon our dust, but it’s exciting that we’re getting it done. Out of all the times of the year this is the slowest time, so we were thankful for that.”
In another crucial project, Public Works Director Mike Helfrich told commissioners in the next few months the city plans to finish rehabilitation of its sewer lift stations to significantly reduce rainwater intrusion into the wastewater system by installing water-tight manhole covers.
Over the last ten years the city has succeeded in rehabbing nearly all of its lift stations, including the master pump station every ten years, Helfrich said.
Lift Station No. 3 is the last of the ten-year rehabilitation projects that will be completed during the next few months. The state provided $375,000 for the project.
He said Public Works found it had the additional funding to upgrade sewer manhole covers with the installation of water-tight hatches to reduced infiltration of rainwater into the system.
City commissioners unanimously voted to allocate $609,966 for rehabilitation of Lift Station 3 and instillation of water-tight hatches on Lift Stations 8 and 9.
Mayor Tyler Payne noted rehabilitating the final lift station and reducing rainwater infiltration “is very important.”
Helfrich said non-water-tight hatches have a tendency to allow water that’s in the street into the system. In essence, the city pays St. Petersburg to treat rainwater that sweeps into its system.
In another major Public Works project, city commissioners heard that plans to landscape the East Treasure Island Causeway have been scaled back and simplified.
Assistant Public Works Director Stacy Boyles said the project has now been pared down to having individual date palms between the new light posts, and then having couple of small shrubs in between each of those. The look at the ends of the medians will be amplified with lilies, and lavender and purple flowers, along with Joseph’s Coats, a reddish-purple foliage that is used around the city and doing very well, Boyles said.
When the plan was initially put out to bid, the city found every landscaping contractor “seems very busy now,” she told commissioners.
The city eventually attracted just one bid. Palm trees were subsequently removed from the bid package, with plans to fund those as a direct purchase to save some money. She told commissioners the palm trees will be roughly the same height as the ones there now.
Commissioners unanimously approved $220,000 for Green Construction Technologies to install the median landscaping, with a 5 percent contingency, and $113,350 for 20 palm trees to be purchased from Tree Mart, for a total project cost of $333,350.
Funding for the landscaping project will be paid from leftover landscaping money in the original account and additional funding that was left over from the East Causeway construction project, which came in under budget.