A fix is in for the floating dock at the Historic Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach.
But the fix isn’t free.
City commissioners voted 4-0 Nov. 13 to hire Duncan Seawall for $73,317 to repair the gangway — the walkway connecting the dock to the pier.
Commissioner Randy White was absent with excuse.
The commissioners’ allocation includes $3,600 for Duncan Seawall to install 18 new rollers, the mechanisms connecting the dock platforms to support piles while allowing tidal movement. The city will furnish the parts through Ronautica Marinas, the Spanish manufacturer subcontracted by Technomarine to produce parts of the dock.
City officials opened the dock Aug. 2, after more than two years of turbulence due to failures by the company originally contracted to build and install the amenity. The dock, which cost $191,524, replaced one damaged by storms and removed in 2017.
Bu the new dock was closed within two weeks because the gangway pulled away from the pier and was at risk of collapsing.
The city hired Delta Engineering in October for $2,000 to design the gangway’s repair, which the firm provided Nov. 12.
Duncan Seawall, following Delta’s specifications, will begin the repair work with the removal of the gangway to drive four timber piles for support.
Two pilings will be driven to stand on each side of the gangway when it is returned. Two vertical piles will be driven 20 feet into the seabed on both sides of the gangway, with one pile driven 5 feet from the pier and another pile 10 feet from the pier.
After driving the piles, Duncan will cross-brace the vertical pilings and install a support beam between the two closest to the pier to cradle the gangway.
The gangway will be shifted 5 feet from the pier to connect to the support beam instead of the pier. The pier’s joists and decking will be extended to bridge the gap.
Steve Porter, from Duncan Seawall, wrote in a Nov. 13 email to public works director Tom Woodard that the contractor planned to mobilize Nov. 15 and begin work Nov. 18.
“It’s quite a little bit of work to be done,” Woodard said. “There is a perception that it’s just an easy, simple little fix. Just a couple of two-by-fours and we were good. That’s not the case.”
City attorney Ricinda Perry said the city was able to hire Duncan Seawall without accepting other bids because the floating dock is in jeopardy and the city can skirt its procurement procedure to repair a downed city function.
Installation of the dock was a community redevelopment agency project, but the city paid for the repair because the dock relates to safety and welfare, according to Perry. She said the CRA could reimburse the city.
Perry recommended hiring and paying Duncan, but also pursuing damages from Hecker Construction, the company hired to install the dock, and Foster Consulting, the engineering firm Hecker retained to design the gangway and rollers.
Hecker failed to follow standards and specifications set for the dock by Technomarine Construction, the contractor hired to design and manufacture the dock, Perry said.
Foster produced faulty designs that led to the gangway issues, she added.
Commissioners agreed to include demand letters for damages to Hecker and Foster in their motion to hire Duncan.
Repairing the rollers
The CRA also is searching for 18 replacement rollers for the dock.
On Nov. 6, CRA members directed Perry and Woodard to contact Ronautica for a quote for 18 replacement rollers, as specified in the original engineering for the dock.
Yessica Martinez, from Ronautica, emailed the pair Nov. 13 with a $1,048.54 quote to manufacture and deliver the parts.
According to the quote, manufacturing the rollers would cost $403.74 and delivery would cost $644.80.
Perry mentioned the quote to city commissioners at the Nov. 13 meeting, but Mayor John Chappie said they could consider purchasing the rollers at a future meeting.
The rollers came into question when waves from Tropical Storm Nestor, as well as a dinghy tied up to the dock during the storm, damaged the dock despite Technomarine designing it to withstand Category 3 hurricanes.
On later inspection of the dock, Woodard identified 18 rollers Hecker had manufactured for the dock when it added more pilings to the plan as the reason why the dock couldn’t sustain the waves from the storm.