Saturday, October 16, 2021

$80,000 Repaint of Bridge Brings No Questions

It was only a few years ago when the island celebrated the long-awaited reopening of the former Smokehouse Bay Bridge, during a dedication ceremony renaming the new structure as the Herb Savage Bridge. This would be to honor the longtime resident and former architect for Deltona Corporation who developed the island.

At the October 25 Marco Island City Council meeting, a contract for the repainting of the underside of that same bridge, which was only completed four years ago, was approved by council in the amount of $79,990. The repainting of the bridge itself was necessitated due to deficiencies found by the Florida Department of Transportation during a recent inspection of the bridge.

In the supporting documentation provided to council, the following was issued as the reason for the necessity of the work as found in a recent inspection by the State of Florida. “In the latest Florida Department of Transportation inspection report it was noted that the steel structure needed maintenance to correct deficiencies in the paint coatings.”

The bid, which was being recommended by city staff, was by Quality Enterprises, the same contractor who held the contract for the construction of the bridge which was only now four years old. Research through various professional organizations showed painting on similar structures should last from seven to fifteen years before requiring repaint.

The contract with Quality Enterprises will require them to accomplish the following:

  • Mobilize-Demobilize with self-powered boom lift and scaffolding under the bridge.
  • Pedestrian walkways under the bridge will be closed off with necessary signage and fencing.
  • Pressure wash entire underneath of bridge with potable water.
  • Repair all rust spots on steel support beams, nuts and bolts.
  • Prime and refinish all repaired steel beams utilizing Sherwin-Williams FDOT System (Macropoxy-Acrolon 218) in gloss light tan 17769.

The approval of the contract was done without debate or any discussions as to why it should be required so soon after the completion of the project. It had been part of the “consent agenda” at the October 25 meeting.

The original debate over the replacement of the bridge had spanned several years as to whether it was a necessity or not. Original bids on that work were rejected after the design was found to be too expensive subsequent to construction bids being received by the city. This necessitated the rebidding of the project which when completed would be close to nine million dollars.

The city would also become embroiled in a heated exchange with the Building 1 Condo-Owners at the Esplanade regarding right of way issues regarding the bridge and infringement upon their property. Those issues would eventually be mitigated between the two parties.

Quality Enterprises continues to be awarded contracts by the city for work on projects. The latest contract is in regard to the ongoing work being done to extend new water lines out to Marco Shores so the city can discontinue the purchase of potable water from the county.

As part of that project they are installing new sewer lines back to the North Utility Plant for processing of wastewater and the decommissioning of the old and outdated Florida Water Services treatment plant that previously handled that process.

As part of the agreement to purchase the assets of Florida Water Services over two decades ago, the city agreed to continue to service the Marco Shores area and those condominiums on the Isle of Capri as part of the city’s service area.

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