February target date for kayak launch

Bradenton Beach officials expect to see shoreline improvements begin in February at the bayfront Herb Dolan Park.

The work likely will coincide with other stormwater improvements in the area, said city consultant Lynn Burnett of LTA Engineers.

Burnett briefed city commissioners on the park project during a meeting Oct. 21 at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

The city has worked for more than a year on the project, which involves shoreline enhancement that will allow for kayakers to launch from the site at the east end of 25th Street, but also improve drainage in the area.

Earlier this fall, the city received bids from two companies for the project, which is being funded with a $30,000 grant from the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program.

Marine Contracting was the low bidder on the work, coming in with a $29,972 bid. The other company, Woodruff and Sons, bid $33,471.34.

Background material for commissioners indicated that the low bidder likely would get the contract. However, Burnett said Marine Contracting had withdrawn its proposal.

So SBEP, as the city’s partner, will recommend its board approve Woodruff and Sons for the job at a regular meeting in mid-January, according to Burnett. SBEP also will increase its funding to cover any costs over the already allocated $30,000.

Referring to Woodruff and Sons as a well performing local company, Burnett said, “I am very comfortable with that selection. It really is a benefit for the city — a win-win for the city at the end of the day.”

The project involves removing rip-rap and other material from the shoreline, installing geoweb and constructing and shaping bioswales.

Also, Woodruff will install a boat launch and a canoe/kayak rack for temporary holding.

The shoreline project, now expected to begin in mid-February, is a component of Bradenton Beach’s master recreational boating plan, which also includes an anchorage/mooring field south of the Historic Bridge Street Pier.

City officials are still working through how best to manage the anchorage/mooring field.

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