County staff contracts with Tampa firm for emergency work
On Sept. 26, Sarasota County staff announced that the county had contracted with De Moya Highway Infrastructure LLC of Tampa to complete emergency repairs to, and reconstruction of, the section of Manasota Key Road that was left heavily damaged as a result of Hurricane Idalia’s effects in late August.
“Based on the current schedule, the work is expected to be completed near the end of October,” a county news release said.
Blind Pass Beach Park will remain open to patrons, the release pointed out. However, a section of the parking lot east of Manasota Key Road will be closed for the staging of construction materials and equipment.
Further, the releases noted, the work area along Manasota Key Road will be closed to all pedestrian and bicycle traffic during construction.
The purchase order with DeMoya Highway Infrastructure LLC was issued in the amount of $3,800,475.00, the release said. Nonetheless, the release explained, the final cost will be determined after the work has been completed.
In an Aug. 31 report about Idalia’s effects on the county’s shoreline, county environmental staff wrote that the greatest damage was observed on Manasota Key. Staff pointed out, “Tropical Storm force gusts persisted for more than 8 hours as the storm passed offshore of Sarasota County.”
During an early morning Facebook Live interview on Aug. 30 with Jamie Carson, director of the county’s Communications Department, Rich Collins, director of the Emergency Services Department, explained that Idalia’s winds were flowing from the southwest at the same time a “king tide” was expected; that meant people likely could see a storm surge ranging from 3 to 5 feet — “water piling up” — as he put it.
Later that day, staff warned on the county government’s Facebook page that Manasota Key Road from north of Blind Pass/Middle Beach was washed out. “Traffic cannot pass in either direction,” the post pointed out, stressing, “STAY AWAY FROM THIS AREA.”
The following morning, Carson reported in a news release, “Roughly 1,600 ft [0.3 miles] of road is damaged. The location … is between 6780 Manasota Key Road and Blind Pass Park.”