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Date of Issue: September 01, 2010

Stormwater work to begin in fall

Bradenton Beach officials hope to begin a stormwater improvement project in “North City” around Avenues A and B and 25th and 22nd streets. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff

On the gray, wet Aug. 23, heavy rain met high tide and many Island roads held stormwater like tubs hold bathwater.

“It was definitely a good day to discuss stormwater projects,” said Bradenton Beach public works director Tom Woodard.

City hall stayed open after hours Aug. 23 for an open house on stormwater improvements planned for north Bradenton Beach this fall, with funding, in part, to come from a Southwest Florida Water Management District grant.

At the open house, city officials, including Woodard, building official Steve Gilbert and Mayor Bob Bartelt, talked with citizens about the projects.

A representative from Swiftmud also attended, as did three employees of LTA Engineers, the Bradenton firm that designed the project.

The initial work will take place “along both Avenues A and B along 25th Street and 22nd Street respectively,” said Matt Morris of LTA Engineers.

Morris said the area experiences localized flooding, which, in addition to disrupting households, can put pollutants into the bay.

“The remedy … is to increase the amount of storage for stormwater,” said Morris, adding that work will take place in the city rights of way and involves adding bio-swales, new inlets and new pipes, as well as repairing and modifying existing drainage features.

For the Avenue B Basin, LTA also is proposing the installation of two underground cisterns.

Ten citizens attended the open house, most of them residents in the “North City” project area. They came with several basic questions:

     • “Will this solve the flooding problems?”

“No,” answered Woodard. “This is a multi-phase project. But this is a great start to improving the problems.”

     • “Will the roads be torn up?”

“No, not completely, but there will be some excavation in the city rights of way and in certain city alleys,” answered Woodard.

     • “How long will the job take?”

“The grant funding is through 2014, so at least that long since the grant and the proposed project are multi-phase,” said Woodard.

     • “When will it start?”

“The proposed projects are multi-phase and should begin before the end of the year, hopefully November,” said Woodard.

A construction contractor has not yet been selected. The city, working with LTA, is finalizing the open bid process, Woodard said.