FAQs

What is the Lift Station 87 Project?

The Lift Station 87 Project includes a new, above-ground 9.5 million gallon per day lift station in Luke Wood Park at 1900 Mound Street. The new lift station will replace the existing Lift Station 7 at 935 Pomelo Avenue. Wastewater flow will be redirected from Lift Station 7 to Lift Station 87 by a new gravity wastewater transmission main, a section of which has been constructed under Hudson Bayou, along the Osprey Avenue corridor.

Why is the project needed?

Lift Station 7 is near the end of its useful life and has had a history of failures. The new lift station and sewer mains will handle one-third of the city's wastewater flow and have been designed to withstand the impacts of a Category 3 hurricane.

What changes were made to make Lift Station 87 more resilient?

The city decided that Lift Station 87 should be upgraded to withstand the impact of a Category 3 hurricane in order to keep Sarasota Memorial Hospital and other critical designated storm shelters in operation after a storm event. The city directed McKim & Creed, the project engineer, to bring critical equipment above ground to a height above the Category 3 storm surge elevation. The city’s wastewater treatment plant is also built to withstand a Category 3 storm.

What is the status of construction?

Phase 1, which included successfully installing micro-tunnels under Hudson Bayou and Luke Wood Park, was completed in June 2017. Phase 2, Lift Station 87 structure, began in late 2017 and is scheduled to be completed in mid-2020. Phase 3, open cut pipeline installation, is scheduled to begin in mid-2020 and be completed in March 2021.

Why has it taken so long to see progress of the Lift Station 87 structure?

Much progress was made at Lift Station 87, but it was hidden from view for months. Crews worked 50 feet underground for more than a year constructing the concrete wetwell at the Lift Station 87 site in Luke Wood Park. In September 2019, construction of the two-story brick lift station building began over top of the wetwell and continues to rise.

Why is Osprey Avenue being closed this summer?

The city is scheduled to temporarily close Osprey Avenue in June 2020 to make utility connections at South Osprey Avenue and Lincoln Drive. As this work is being completed, crews will begin excavating Osprey Avenue south of Lincoln Drive to install sewer mains. Osprey Avenue is anticipated to be closed to through traffic from Bay Street to Bahia Vista Street from June 2020 through March 2021.

How will traffic be maintained during the closure?

The project team will develop a proposed traffic and detour plan that maintains safe traffic flow. The plan will use input we received during the previous closure. It will direct traffic to Mound Street/US 41 to avoid neighborhoods. The plan will also deter traffic from taking shortcuts through neighborhoods, address pedestrian detours and sidewalk closures, and identify access to businesses on Osprey Avenue.

What should residents expect during Phase 3 construction?

Those living along Alta Vista Street, Osprey Avenue, Pomelo Avenue and Pomelo Place can expect active construction in the neighborhood. While the exact schedule and construction details are not yet known, residents can expect heavy machinery and crews working in the neighborhood Monday through Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. A few days before construction begins, shallow wells will be installed and pumped continuously to dewater the areas to be excavated. Crews will then use heavy equipment to mill and remove the existing asphalt, excavate trenches, install pipe segments and backfill the trenches. Temporary drivable surfaces will be placed, then all disturbed roadways will be repaved and restriped.

Will the neighborhood roads be closed during construction?

Exact construction plans will be known after a contractor is selected. However, due to the depth of excavation, we expect Alta Vista Street to be closed from Osprey Avenue to Pomelo Avenue. At least one lane will be closed on Pomelo Avenue and Pomelo Place.

Will there be night or weekend construction?

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, no night or Sunday work is anticipated in Phase 3.

How will you maintain access to homes and businesses during construction?

When construction is directly in front of a home or business, the contractor will identify alternate parking areas and, if needed, provide alternate means of transporting residents to and from temporary parking.

Will my water or sewer service be interrupted?

There may be some temporary service interruptions. Residents will be notified in advance of anticipated interruptions by door hanger.

Will mail and package delivery or garbage/recycling pick-up be interrupted during construction?

No. The contractor will work closely with homeowners and businesses to ensure deliveries and city services continue without interruption.

Will emergency services, like the Fire Department, know about the closures?

Emergency services will be notified by the city in advance of detours and lane closures.

Why did the City change Lift Station 87 to an above-ground facility?

A vulnerability analysis conducted by McKim & Creed showed that Lift Station 87, as previously designed, required a number of changes in order to withstand storm surges associated with a Category 2 hurricane. However, the City decided that Lift Station 87 should be upgraded to withstand the impact of a Category 3 hurricane in order to keep Sarasota Memorial Hospital and other critical designated storm shelters in operation after a storm event. The City directed McKim & Creed to bring critical equipment above ground to a height above the Category 3 storm surge elevation. The City’s wastewater treatment plant is also built to withstand a Category 3 storm.

Why is it important that the facility withstand a Category 3 hurricane?

Lift Station 87 will be a priority facility for the City. It will handle about one-third of the City’s wastewater as well as wastewater from Sarasota Memorial Hospital and three designated hurricane shelters.

What will the building look like?

The approved concept for the building is inspired by the Hover Arcade, a historic Sarasota landmark formerly located at the entrance of Marina Jack's. The building once served as city hall. The Lift Station 87 design features two towers, a parapet roof and doors and windows reminiscent of the Hover Arcade. The design evolved over time to include input from the City's Urban Design Studio and residents. Click here to see the architectural drawings.

What will the landscaping around the building look like?

The City has approved a landscape plan that features plants that are native to the Sarasota region and meet the principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping. The plan, which was presented to the community on Nov. 9, 2016, includes large size trees, such as 20-foot tall southern like oaks, 10-12-foot tall slash pines, southern red cedar and cabbage palm. Other plants in the landscape design include grey saw palmetto, muhly grass, beautyberry, wild coffee and more. Pervious concrete pavers will be used to provide a firm foundation for maintenance vehicles, minimize stormwater runoff from the site, and provide a pleasing aesthetic.

What is the height of the new building?

The approved design shows a building height of approximately 35 feet at the top of the roof. The roof design and building height have changed based on input from various stakeholder groups. The height of the towers is approximately 58 feet. The intent of the design is to locate HVAC and equipment exhausts in the towers to minimize community impacts. The design of the building is in full compliance with the City's zoning code.

Will the new building be built on the footprint of the existing underground facility?

The approximate building location can be seen here. The exact location will be refined as the project design is finalized. The intent will be to minimize additional impacts to Luke Wood Park.

Will all the project elements be constructed at the same time?

Project construction is sequenced in three overlapping phases protect the City's investment and minimize risks: 1) the microtunnels under Hudson Bayou and Luke Wood Park, 2) Lift Station 87 construction and 3) the open cut installation of the gravity sewer mains and decommissioning Lift Station 7. The open cut sewer construction cannot begin until the new lift station is operational. 

Will Luke Wood Park stay nice during construction?

The City and project team understand the importance of Luke Wood Park to the residents. No existing trees are planned for removal during the Lift Station 87 project. During construction, the project team is making efforts to minimize construction impacts in the park by working within the fenced area. The construction fencing around the site will be maintained during construction. Once the lift station building is complete, new native Florida landscaping  will be planted.

Along Alta Vista Street and Osprey Avenue, a 24‐inch diameter pipeline and an 8‐inch diameter pipeline will be installed simultaneously by open cut. Additionally, aging ductile iron and asbestos cement pipe will be replaced, new reclaimed water mains will be installed, any storm sewers that are disrupted will be replaced, and the roads will be fully restored curb‐to‐curb at the end of pipeline installation. [/expand]

What will happen to Lift Station 7?

Once Lift Station 87 is fully operational, Lift Station 7 will be decommissioned and that site will be fully restored and landscaped to a park-like setting.

When did the City meet with residents to develop a landscape plan for the Lift Station 7 property?

The City met with neighborhood residents on Feb. 15 and Feb. 28, 2017, to discuss demolition of the Lift Station 7 facilities and plans to return the area to a park-like setting. Community input was used to select a plan that features an ornamental fence, ornamental benches, a walking path and native plants.

What is the project budget?

The current total construction budget is $35 million. This includes the cost to bring Lift Station 87 above-ground to withstand Category 3 storm surges and project enhancements (installing reclaimed water mains to provide the area with an environmentally friendly source of irrigation water, replacing aging water mains to improve water pressure, installing new sewer mains, fully resurfacing roadways curb to curb and landscaping the Lift Station 7 site, once decommissioned). Phase 1 was successfully completed for a construction cost of $7.9 million. Currently, Phase 2 is underway and the construction contract amount is $21.1 million. The current estimated construction cost for Phase 3 is $6 million. Approximately $8 million was previously spend to construct the project.

Will our rates go up?

The City Commission has approved the use of a state loan program to finance the construction of Phases 2 and 3. Phase 1, which was successfully completed under budget, was funded through the Utilities Capital Improvements Program. At this time, there is no planned rate increase for the customers of the City of Sarasota Utilities Department, relative to the Lift Station 87 project.

Who notifies the public when there is a sewage spill in Hudson Bayou?

The Sarasota County Health Department is responsible for testing the water and notifying residents of potential contamination. The City of Sarasota Utilities Department assists with notification by posting signs in the area. In the event of a wastewater spill associated with Lift Station 7, we will also post notices on this website.

How is the team engaging the community?

There are a number of ways that residents can be involved and stay up-to-date on the project. Periodic community meetings will be held to provide information, answer questions and solicit input. In addition to this website, a communications line has been set up for residents to call for information (941-356-8071). Utility department employees are also on site at the construction field office, 824 S. Osprey Ave. Staff will provide answers and resolutions to any issues that residents have concerning the project.

The project team is coordinating closely with the City on all communications efforts. The City’s website links to the project web site, and the City is sending updates and notifications to all those on its e-subscribers list and its Twitter followers.