FAQs

What is the Lift Station 87 Project?

The Lift Station 87 Project includes a new, above-ground 9.5 million gallon-per-day maximum capacity 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. Once operational, the Lift Station 87 project will improve service and reliability for City of Sarasota customers and protect the environment.

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 about 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 is involved in Phase 3 construction?

For Phase 3, the contractor will install a 24-inch diameter gravity wastewater pipeline by open cut along Alta Vista Street and Osprey Avenue. Crews will replace aging ductile iron and asbestos cement pipe, install new reclaimed water mains, and replace any storm sewers that are disrupted. New curbs, sidewalks, and drainage improvements are included in the project corridor.

Along Pomelo Avenue and Pomelo Place, crews will install an 8-inch diameter gravity sewer by open cut and replace water mains with larger pipes to improve fire flow protection. New reclaimed water mains will be installed in the area.

Once pipelines are installed, wastewater flow will be diverted to Lift Station 87, then Lift Station 7 will be demolished and the site returned to a park-like setting. Roadways will be fully restored once pipelines are installed.

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. Residents can expect heavy machinery and crews working in the neighborhood Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Emergency work or unforeseen conditions could extend work hours. 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 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.

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

The project team heard resident concerns for maintaining access to homes during phase 3 construction. We are addressing those concerns by 1) Limiting the contractor to impacting no more than 200 feet of roadway at a time. This limitation means that construction should only impact up to four or six houses (on both sides of a road) at a time. 2) When construction is directly in front of a home or business, the contractor will identify alternate parking areas within the construction zone (no remote, off-site parking). Temporary parking could be in the closed section of Osprey Avenue or along the south side of Pomelo Place. 3) While vehicle access may be limited at times, the contractor will be required to maintain ADA-compliant pedestrian access to residents’ homes, so residents can walk to their front doors.

Will there be night or weekend construction?

Crews are permitted to work Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but barring any unforeseen circumstances, no night or Sunday work is anticipated in Phase 3.

Will there be a lot of vibration from machinery during this construction?

Some vibration from the machinery may be felt in nearby homes and businesses. To reduce vibration, the City is requiring the contractor to bring in clean fill material, which is easier to compact. The contractor will take pre- and post- construction photos and videos, and strategically locate vibration monitors in the construction zone for the duration of construction. Those monitors send real-time alerts if vibration exceeds a certain level.

Will my water or sewer service be interrupted?

There may be temporary, short-term service interruptions along the pipeline route as new wastewater service lines are installed from homes to the new sewer main. 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 city is requiring that the contractor work closely with homeowners and businesses to so that deliveries and city services continue without interruption.

Will properties be restored to their original condition if disrupted during this project?

The city project manager and contractor will work closely with property owners to minimize impacts to private property. Any private property that is disturbed, such as driveways or mailboxes, plants, irrigation lines or other items in the right-of-way, will be replaced in-kind. Storm sewers that are disrupted will be replaced, and roads will be fully restored curb‐to‐curb at the end of pipeline installation.

Will you have to trim any trees in resident’s yards?

We understand that trees add to our quality of life and will continue to protect trees in your neighborhood. The city's arborist has assisted the project team through planning and design, and will work closely with us during Phase 3 construction to help protect trees. If tree trimming is necessary in certain areas, the team will follow the City arborist requirements for tree care and preservation.

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.

Who can I contact if I have questions or concerns about my property?

A city employee, in an orange hardhat, will be on the construction site every day to address any resident questions or concerns. Utility department employees and McKim & Creed staff members are also on site at the construction field office, 824 S. Osprey Ave.

Where can I get updates on the project?

Updates are posted on the project website, www.liftstation87.com, and residents can call the project information line, 941-356-8071. You may also join the City’s e-subscribers list and follow it on Twitter.

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 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 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. 

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.

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.