With work underway on county pump station near University Parkway, North Lockwood Ridge traffic lanes to be closed for several weeks

Northbound lanes between 61st Street and University Parkway first to be affected

Project Manager Scott Dalton stands in front of Pump Station No. 1. Image courtesy Sarasota County via Facebook

With work having begun May 13 on Sarasota County’s Pump Station No. 1 Improvement Project, county staff has announced that the northbound lanes of North Lockwood Ridge Road, between 61st Street, and University Parkway, will be closed until 7 p.m. on May 31.

After the work in the northbound lanes has been completed, a news release says, the southbound lanes of North Lockwood Ridge Road, — again, between 61st Street and University Parkway — will be closed for five weeks.

“These travel lanes will be closed for the safety of our workers and community members,” the release explains. “Detour signs will be placed in the relevant locations to guide traffic around the area safely via alternate routes,” the release adds.

Pump Station No. 1 is located near the intersection of University Parkway and Lockwood Ridge Road, the release points out. Among the improvements will be the installation of new valves and metering and telemetry equipment, with the latter to enable remote operation of the station. However, one key goal of the project, a county fact sheet says, is “decreasing the time it takes to fill the existing tanks …”

In an interview with Shelly Walters of the county’s Capital Projects Department, which has been posted among county Facebook videos, county Project Manager Scott Dalton explained that the initiative is necessary to prepare the county for the end of its potable water contract with Manatee County.

Sarasota County staff was able to negotiate an extension of the Manatee contract through March 31, 2028, former Public Utilities Department Director Mike Mylett — who retired in November 2023 — told the County Commission last fall. (In 2022 — the latest year for which information is available — the Manatee contract provided 19% of Sarasota County’s drinking water.)

Most of the project work that began this week will take place at Pump Station No. 1, Dalton added in the Facebook video, though other facets of the initiative will occur at the intersection of University Parkway and Lockwood Ridge.

This graphic shows details about the Phase 1 work. Image courtesy Sarasota County
This graphic shows details of the Phase 2 work. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Dalton reported that staff expects the project to be finished in December.

The Invitation for Bids (IFB) that county staff issued for the project said that staff was seeking a contractor or subcontractor that could demonstrate experience in using an open cut  to construct at least 400 linear feet of ductile iron pipelines that had a minimum diameter of 24 inches. (Willman Industries Inc. points out, “Ductile Iron is a type of cast iron known for its impact and fatigue resistance, elongation, and wear resistance due to the spherical (round) graphite structures in the metal.”)

As Trenchlesspedia explains, “Open cut, as the name implies, is a method of pipeline installation that requires opening up the surface of the ground to the required depth for installing a pipeline.”

Further, the IFB called for a contractor or subcontractor with demonstrated experience in handling a maintenance of traffic plan (MOT) within a city, county or state right of way. County project managers want to ensure that drivers are able to navigate safely around construction sites.

“The Bidder must be a licensed Underground Utility and Excavation Contractor, or a General Contractor,” the IFB added.

Beginning on the east side of Lockwood Ridge Road, south of University Parkway, the county news release says, a 30-inch transmission main line will be constructed along the west side of Lockwood Ridge Road. Its terminus will be near Pump Station No. 1, the release notes.

“This pipeline is integral in providing water supply to customers in the northern portion of Sarasota County’s potable water system,” the release points out.

The contractor is Dejonge Excavating of Venice, the county project fact sheet says. The design consultant that county staff used for the undertaking was Giffels Webster Engineering of Englewood.

The expense of the design contract was $996,763.30, the fact sheet notes. The construction contract calls for the county to pay Dejonge $7,028,870.59.

For more information, persons may visit scgov.net or call 311, which is the number for the county’s Contact Center.

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