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 will be constructed under Hudson Bayou, along the Osprey Avenue corridor.

Why is the project needed?

Lift Station 7, which handles approximately one-third of the City’s wastewater flow, is near the end of its useful life and has had a history of failures. Once completed, the project will improve wastewater service and reliability for City of Sarasota customers and protect the environment.

Who is doing the work?

In August 2013, the City selected McKim & Creed, Inc., to complete the engineering necessary to finish the Lift Station 87 Project. The City went through a competitive procurement process, and McKim & Creed’s team was selected for its demonstrated lift station, microtunneling and large diameter pipeline design and construction expertise. McKim & Creed is a local engineering firm with 17 offices across the United States. Phase 1 of the project was competitively bid and awarded to Vadnais Trenchless Services, which will complete Phase 1 in the summer of 2017

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, beauty berry, wild coffee and more. Grass pavers will be used to provide a firm foundation for maintenance vehicles while still providing a park-like setting.

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 being sequenced in three overlapping phases protect the City's investment and minimize risks: 1) the microtunnel under Hudson Bayou, 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. During construction, the project team will make efforts to minimize construction impacts in the park by working within the fenced area. The City has replaced the temporary construction fencing around the site to improve the appearance of the site until construction resumes. The fencing will be maintained during construction.

What other construction do you anticipate?

Equipment will be removed from the underground lift station. Portions of the underground facility will be likely be filled in and the above-ground structure will be built. Other major construction includes installing an 8-inch gravity sewer by open cut along Pomelo Avenue and Pomelo Place. While that work is occurring, water mains will be replaced with larger pipes to improve fire flow protection and new reclaimed water mains will be installed in the area. Roads will be fully restored and Lift Station 7 will be demolished and restored to a park-like setting.

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.

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.

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

Yes. 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 microtunneling?

Microtunneling is a term that means installing underground utilities without digging an open trench. Various sizes and types of pipelines can be installed by microtunneling. Microtunneling is often used to minimize impacts on the environment, traffic and neighborhoods. Microtunneling requires specialized techniques and equipment. To install a pipeline by microtunnel, vertical shafts are excavated on each side of a trenchless crossing. Tunneling equipment is placed in one shaft and then tunnels to the other at a controlled alignment and grade. Special equipment is used to keep the shafts dewatered and to remove dirt and rock from the tunneling process.

What options were considered for crossing Hudson Bayou?

The project team analyzed microtunneling and horizontal directional drilling with an inverted siphon. Directional drilling is another trenchless technology that allows pipelines to be installed underground with minimal impact to the surrounding area. McKim & Creed  recommended microtunneling because it can be done in a way that minimizes impacts to the environment, traffic and neighborhoods and has less system maintenance costs than an inverted siphon. Horizontal directional drilling with an inverted siphon would require at least two pipelines, have odor control concerns, more maintenance costs, traffic impacts and construction constraints. Additionally, a review of comparable planning level cost estimates showed the microtunneling option was more cost effective and had the least impacts to the neighborhoods and to the traveling public.

Was microtunneling successful for this project?

Yes. The project team's extensive geotechnical and geophysical investigations led to sound design and successful construction. The microtunnel segment under Hudson Bayou began in late January 2017 and was completed in March 2017. The microtunnel segment under Luke Wood Park began in April 2017 and was completed in June 2017.

How long will it take to install the microtunnel under Hudson Bayou?

Microtunnel construction is estimated to average about 30 feet per day, with some days progressing at a faster rate and some at a slower rate. It also is expected to take 12-14 weeks to construct the launching and receiving shafts.

How will you handle traffic? Can you avoid the traffic problems that occurred during previous construction?

Citizen input regarding safety for the walking, biking and driving community has been invaluable to the project team. The input we received during the public meetings informed our maintenance of traffic plans during the Osprey Bridge closure. In 2018, before we develop traffic plans for the open-cut gravity sewer installation, we'll hold community meetings to request resident input on that phase of work. We do not expect significant traffic disruptions during construction of Lift Station 87. However, utility connections at the intersection of Osprey and Lincoln will require partial or full lane closures. Advance notices will be issued similar to those done in Phase 1.

What is the project budget?

The current construction budget is $32 million. This includes the cost to bring Lift Station 87 above-ground to withstand Category 3 storm surges. Project enhancements include 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. Approximately $8 million was previously spent 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 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? Can folks that live in the vicinity be notified sooner?

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. Project team meetings are publicly noticed and posted on the project web site. We’ll also hold periodic community meetings 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). During construction, utility department employees are 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.


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