Culverhouse Nature Park restroom project on hold because of supply chain issues

County staff hoping work will be completed in mid-July

This is the incomplete restroom facility at Culverhouse Nature Park. Image courtesy Sarasota County

With the North Port Connector of The Legacy Trail on track for completion in August, Sarasota County staff recently issued an update on the Culverhouse Nature Park restroom and parking project.

In the June 23 report, county Media Relations Officer Brianne Grant wrote that, because of supply chain issues, the completion of that initiative has been delayed. “Pending access to materials,” she added, “the project is anticipated to be complete later this summer.”

The same day, a Sarasota County Government Facebook post said that county staff is awaiting the delivery of the lift station for the site. As High Tide Technologies explains, “A wastewater lift station is a pumping station that moves wastewater from a lower elevation to a higher elevation. The benefit of using a lift station in a sewage collection system is that it saves a substantial amount of money in excavation costs, which involves digging for sewer pipes. Sewer pipes live underground, and digging trenches is costly. Installing a wastewater lift station at certain points in a gravity pipeline system saves on front-end construction costs without sacrificing efficiency or functionality. [Lift stations] play an integral role in moving sewage to a wastewater treatment plant.”

The county Facebook post added that the lift station was ordered at the start of the Culverhouse Nature Park project, which began in November 2021.

This is the new parking area at Culverhouse Nature Park. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The undertaking had been on schedule until the lift station issue arose, Grant wrote in the June 23 update. The current timeline anticipated for wrapping up the project is mid-July, she added.

“The constructed restroom facilities will be locked and remained closed to public access, with signage explaining the delay, until the facilities are completed and usable,” Grant pointed out.

On a positive note, she continued, “Construction of the paved parking spaces is complete.” That portion of the project includes Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant parking spaces and access to the park, she wrote.

Further, sidewalks will be constructed, and stormwater improvements will be provided, Grant added.

Sarasota County staff members “continue to coordinate logistics with the community gardening group to maintain access to the garden throughout the project’s progress” so the gardeners can continue their work, she pointed out.

On Oct. 26, 2021, the County Commission approved a $548,400 contract to the A2 Group Inc. of Bradenton to handle the Culverhouse Nature Park project. Originally, as stated in a county staff memo in the board’s Oct. 26, 2021 agenda packet, the work was expected to be completed in April of this year.

A graphic shows the location of Culverhouse Nature Park, south of Sawyer Loop Road. Image from Google Maps

Culverhouse House Nature Park is located along The Legacy Trail, just north of Palmer Ranch Parkway, Grant explained in her update. In fact, prior to the completion of the North Extension segments of The Legacy Trail, the park was the terminus of the Trail from Venice.

Its official address is 7301 McIntosh Road.

Opened in 2013, the park provides public access to more than 80 acres of native flora and fauna, Grant noted. Culverhouse Nature Park “is a popular location for birding, picnicking, community gardening, unpaved trails, access to The Legacy Trail, and more,” she pointed out.

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