Tracy Telle’s Comments on the A1A project

Well, here I am again after I told everyone last year that you won’t see me at your next meeting.  I guess I should begin with an explanation of the delays that we have encountered in this final A1A construction segment.  We all knew prior to construction that this phase of construction would be the most challenging section due to the limited right-of-way and numerous underground utilities.   


With that being said, the construction delays can be contributed, in large part, to the unearthing of unsuitable soils located within the limits of the stabilized roadway bed.  These soils encompass approximately 1600 LF of roadway and prevented the contractor from beginning any of the roadwork until a directive was issued. 


City staff initially contacted our geotechnical consultant and conducted a field meeting with the contractor, FDOT staff, and our geotechnical consultant.  During this time City staff requested the consultant to provide a remediation plan to forward to the contractor and FDOT for approval.  In the perfect world that would be the end of story.  However, you see, we were notified by FDOT staff the following day that a meeting with the FDOT’s District IV project manager and their materials engineer would need to occur. 


Four days later this meeting was held on-site and FDOT stated they needed to conduct independent testing.  Well, to make a long story short, they ended up having the first round of testing done with results supplied a month later.  Upon review of the testing data it was decided they needed even more extensive soil sampling.  So of course it took FDOT a month to identify a funding source, a month to contract with another geotech consultant, and another month to get results making the current delay now at 4 months.  Then to top it off it took another two weeks for FDOT to specify an approved geogrid fabric for use in the bridging of the soils and another week for delivery of the materials. 


All of this has in turn pushed the project’s completion date back 5 months, and then when we factor in other utility delays, we are currently looking at a substantial completion date of June 2013.


Now that I have the bad news over with, I will give you a brief update on the current construction schedule.  As of Tuesday morning, the contractor has added another road crew to begin the road work within the areas containing the yielding soils, more particularly within the limits between Dockside and Eldorado Street.  It is anticipated that this south side of the road will be complete with curbs and gutter, street lighting, sidewalks, etc. in two months and then the north side of the roadway will be closed while it is constructed. 


In addition, you may have noticed the on-going road work between the fire station and Binney.  In two to three weeks, once this section has been competed, this road crew will be relocated to commence work on the roundabout.  I would like everyone to be aware that when this construction starts the temporary overflow parking lot situated on west side of Jetty Park will be eliminated.  Luckily our Public Works Department has constructed another temporary parking area on the south side of the Jetty Park property in anticipation of this closure.


This wraps up the update on A1A, but I would also like to briefly mention the Jetty Park construction.  First, I want to stress that it was never our intention that this construction would coincide with the A1A construction, but unfortunately it appears that is exactly what has happened.  You see by the time we received final approval from the State and FHWA and advertised for bids we were already well into July 2012.  The three week advertisement period along with a mandatory pre-bid meeting and bid opening put us into August.  Unfortunately, all three bidders were disqualified and the project had to go out for rebid.  Anyways, after the bid opening we had to obtain FDOT’s approval of the low bid, and of course commission approval.  This along with the contract execution and now we’re into November.  Factoring in the A1A delays now means that both projects are under construction at the same time.  Unfortunately, due to the Jetty Park’s construction funding timeline we were unable to delay the construction start date and had to proceed immediately.  One good thing is just like the A1A project, the Jetty Park is also scheduled to be completed in June of this year. 


Let me close this construction overview with thanking everyone for their patience and understanding during the on-going construction and also to reiterate that if anyone should have any questions or concerns pertaining to either the A1A or Jetty Park construction to please feel free to contact me directly.  I will have business cards with my contact information available for anyone who would like one, please see me after the meeting.


(remarks as prepared by Tracy Telle)