Bridge Street paver, utility projects on temporary hold

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Bradenton Beach police officers regulate traffic on Bridge Street Jan. 23 as Classic Brick Construction workers sweep dirt from pervious brick pavers at parking spaces and crosswalks. Islander Photo: Jack Elka
An aerial view of pervious brick pavers installed on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach Jan. 23 at parking spaces and crosswalks between the post office and the Bridge Street Bazaar.

Work on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach is settling down.

But only for a short while.

City attorney Ricinda Perry told The Islander Jan. 29 that Classic Brick Construction was about 75% done with the installation of pervious brick pavers in parking spaces and crosswalks.

However, burying utility lines along the roadway still has a ways to go before completion.

The city’s community redevelopment agency tasked Perry with overseeing the two projects. Both the pavers and underground utilities were undertaken to improve the street’s aesthetic, while the pavers are expected to assist in stormwater drainage.


Paver installation

Perry said pavers could not be placed in four areas — at parking spots for compact vehicles at the base of the Historic Bridge Street Pier, as well as parking spots in front of the Island Time Bar and Grill, Island Creperie and Island Time Inn — until Spectrum finished boring at the sites to underground utilities.

“Pavers are way ahead of schedule,” she said. “But they are on hold for two weeks, tentatively, because I don’t know how long it will take (for Spectrum) to finish boring.”

After Spectrum finishes, CBC will set the final pavers, which will be hosed and sealed so they don’t get stained.

The CRA appropriated up to $25,000 to patch and clean Bridge Street, then seal the pavers.


Undergrounding utilities

Work on the underground utility project is expected to continue long after paver placement.

Wilco Electrical, the contractor hired to bury utility lines, completed boring for Bay Drive South, Church Avenue and much of Bridge Street, leaving only one section to bore near the Island Time Bar and Grill at the corner of Bridge Street and Gulf Drive.

Boring is the process of drilling and enlarging a hole, in this case to be used as a pathway for high-voltage electrical lines and fiber-optic cables.

Wilco needs a permit from the Florida Department of Transportation to operate its machinery in the right of way at Gulf Drive — also State Road 789 — to complete the work at Island Time. Perry said she couldn’t provide a time frame for the permit’s acquisition.

Meanwhile, Spectrum began its work the week of Jan. 27, boring pathways Jan. 29 for fiber-optic cables that must be separate from the pathways Wilco created for high-voltage electrical lines.

Spectrum damaged a water line on Church Avenue while boring Jan. 29, so work was halted for several hours while Manatee County repaired the pipeline.

The Drift In and the Pines Trailer Park were impacted by the damaged water line.

“Today there were just repairs,” Perry said. “There was absolutely no progress made on the actual bore itself. No conduit has been laid.”

Perry said Spectrum originally estimated it would complete boring work by Jan. 31, but because of the slow start, the contractor’s work may be completed the week of Feb. 3.

Once the boring is completed, Florida Power & Light must approve as-built permits — retroactive permits for completed work — for the finished bores. Approval could take four-eight weeks.

In the meantime, Wilco will remove its equipment.

The final steps in the underground utilities project involve Wilco completing another bore along Bridge Street to power new LED streetlights. Wilco also would remove old solar-powered fixtures and posts, including some owned by FPL, and install new streetlamps.

Perry is seeking an estimate from Wilco for the streetlight work, as well as FPL’s authorization to remove its streetlights.

“If I were to bet on when you’ll see all of this complete, including all the poles removed and installation of new streetlights, I’d say you’re looking at probably the end of May,” Perry said. “But everything changes on me every day.”

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