St. Pete Beach, FL. – August 15, 2019–
The City of St. Pete Beach has been quite busy over the last several weeks with new projects getting started and planning ahead.
You may have noticed several projects currently underway in the downtown districts of St. Pete Beach. Doug Izzo, Commissioner in District 2 is happy with the progress. “It’s welcoming to see St. Pete Beach investing in its infrastructure. We are finally showing attention to the shops and restaurants that make St. Pete Beach so special and attracting new ones. We want people to know St. Pete Beach is open for business.”
Corey Avenue construction officially began on Monday August 5th and will be complete within a few weeks. While one will have access to park and stroll on the Avenue, the intersection at Blind Pass Rd. and Corey Avenue will not be complete until October. The City is adding cool pavement to the asphalt in October to compliment the many events and markets the Corey Avenue Business Association holds throughout the year. In addition there will be more landscaping with shade trees and bump-outs for added visual appeal. Cheryl West, owner of Paradise Gifts and Paradise Lights and Home Décor on Corey Avenue shared, “The construction crews are keeping very busy, and there are at least two or three going at the same time. They are being very considerate of the situation here on the street and want to get the project done as quickly as possible. We have some inside projects going on and keeping an upbeat attitude. Looking forward to our new street!”
Historic 8th Avenue in Pass-a-Grille is also having some work done. The Historic Bricks that once lined the streets are being brought back to life on 8th Avenue. A ground breaking ceremony took place on Thursday August 1st with City Officials and Community Members along with the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce. Melinda Pletcher, Commissioner, District 4 wants everyone to know that the shops and restaurants are open for business during this time of renovation. “We are in the process of bringing another historic element back to 8th Avenue. This is the shortest Main Street in America; this project is a game changer. Such a unique blend of shopping and dining experiences here, this is going to such a nice enhancement. The first event being held on the street after the project is complete is “Party Under the Lights”, taking place on October 12th. Everyone should attend and celebrate with the community.” The historic bricks will begin getting laid the week of August 19th. The general manager of Hurricane Restaurant, Rick Falkenstein is proud the city is cherishing the history. “Tear down history? Not here, half a century later 8th Avenue bricks are being restored.”
While both of the downtown districts have been under redevelopment, the locally owned shops and restaurants have been open for business. Many are saying, yes, they’ve had an impact from the construction; however the community support has been outstanding.
St. Pete Beach held a public meeting on July 31, 2019 at the Recreation Center to inform the public about two upcoming construction projects. Elected Officials, City Staff and representatives of the Engineering Design Firms of the projects presented an overview of the projects and answered questions for about 60 Citizens and friends of St. Pete Beach.
The Sanitary Sewer Force Main project will install a new sanitary sewer pipe to increase the capacity of the transmission system to allow for future development and to help prevent sanitary sewer overflows into the Boca Ciega Bay. The new pipe connects to the existing force main under Gulf Blvd at 37th Ave and will be installed by an open trench method north to Gulf Winds Drive in the inside southbound lane. At Gulf Winds Drive the pipe will follow along to Boca Ciega Drive all the way to the pump station at 87th Ave.
The Undergrounding of the Overhead Electrical and Telecommunications Lines project will place all of the overhead lines on both sides of Gulf Blvd underground and replace all the streetlights with decorative LED light fixtures. The project goal is to underground all of the overhead lines and replace all of the streetlights from 75th Ave south to the Bayway. This project will improve the beautification of the Boulevard and harden our electrical service grid against storm damage.
Both projects are estimated to cost approximately $12.5M each and are scheduled to start together in January 2019. The sewer project is expected to last up to 18 months and the electrical project up to 24 months. A Public Update Meeting is tentatively scheduled for November and will be shared well in advance.
1. What will be the extent of active construction on Gulf Blvd.? Will the entire project length along Gulf Blvd. be under construction same time? a. Construction means and methods will be decided by the selected Contractor. The construction will be completed in segments of approximately 3 to 5 blocks, lasting for 1-2 months for each segment. An additional public meeting will be held at the beginning of November 2019, once a Contractor is selected to cover construction means and methods.
2. Where will the construction start and how will it progress? a. Construction means and methods will be decided by the selected Contractor and discussed at a future public meeting.
3. Will construction be completed during off-peak hours or overnight? a. Construction will be completed within normal business hours. Night work will only be permitted when critical tie-ins or similar activities are required. Night work generally leads to increased risk and associated cost increases.
4. Will there be service outages – electrical and telephone – during the undergrounding project? a. Service outages of a few minutes to a few hours may be required to switch over to the new service lines and will be communicated in advance.
5. Will the undergrounding project extend north of Gulf Blvd? (Specific reference to Sunset Way) a. Electrical and telecommunication undergrounding will only include Gulf Blvd. as identified in the design plans.
6. Will overhead utilities in the rear of properties along Gulf Blvd be relocated underground? a. Overhead utilities that serve properties along Gulf Blvd from the rear will not be included in the undergrounding project.
7. Will the construction of these projects overlap with the Blind Pass Road project? a. Official closeout of the Blind Pass Road project is anticipated in May 2020. There is no intended overlap with the Sanitary Sewer Projects or Electrical Undergrounding.
8. What is the project cost and how will it be financed? a. The project construction costs for the Sanitary Sewer Projects and Electrical Undergrounding are $12.5 Million and $12 Million respectively. b. The Sanitary Sewer Project is being financed through FDEP SRF and Penny for Pinellas is funding the Undergrounding project.
9. Will businesses be compensated for lost business during construction? a. No.
10. Will the City be providing way finding signage for customers to access businesses impacted by construction?
a. The City will provide additional signage as requested for businesses in addition to the signage set up by the Contractor according to City/FDOT requirements.
11. Will the completion of the sanitary projects allow the Tradewinds advance with their development plans? a. Completion of the sanitary projects will allow development as outlined in the City’s land development code.
12. What is the size of the proposed lift stations? Are they noisy? a. The lift station site will be a maximum of 30ft by 20ft. The majority of the lift station is installed underground, with the only visual features being (2) ground level aluminum access hatches and the control panels. The lift stations are not noisy.
13. How is the area north of the proposed project limits being served? a. The Sanitary Sewer Projects will alleviate some of the flow from the existing sanitary pipes, resulting in the existing sanitary sewer system north of the project area sufficient to serve the existing properties.
Maps of the project are available upon request. Please email Sarah Laracuente with any further questions or requests.