TREASURE ISLAND – City staff has contracted with a civil engineer who specializes in concrete issues to get a second opinion on the cause of cracks in the Central Beach Trail.
Treasure Island City Manager Reid Silverboard told the City Commission Aug. 20 that the city has contracted with Ken Roush of Yulee, Fla., for “about $5,000” to provide an independent assessment of cracks in the Beach Trail.
Phil Graham, the managing partner and owner of Phil Graham Landscape Architecture, the city’s consultant and project manager for the $1.3 million Trail project, told commissioners Aug. 6 that he has hired a pair of consultants to complete testing of the concrete but his final report might take “three to four weeks or six to eight weeks.”
Graham said he would produce scientific evidence to prove the cracks were related to a cosmetic issue, not a geo-technical issue such as settling.
Graham’s statement prompted Mayor Bob Minning to suggest the city hire an independent consultant for another opinion.
Public Works Director Jim Murphy said Roush would check out the concrete specifications for the Trail and observe cracks first-hand.
“He’s also been tasked to look at the samples that were taken of the concrete and put that all together,” said Murphy. “Then when he gets the findings from Phil Graham he’ll see how that all fits together and he’ll provide his opinion.”
Murphy said Roush is an expert witness and provides expert testimony in the area of concrete failure and concrete repair.
“He’s also been involved with one lawyer in litigation and mediation on another case,” said Murphy. “In both instances both lawyers said he did an excellent job representing his client.”
Commissioner Phil Collins asked Murphy if Roush would have to run tests on the concrete, in addition to what Graham’s consultants are doing.
“I’m not saying we’ll have to,” said Murphy. “I think we need to see what (Roush) says. I would hope that the majority of what he’ll need is going to be done through the testing that Phil Graham’s company has done with (Professional Service Industries of Tampa).”
Murphy said Roush would look at the data and determine if it’s sufficient.
“He may recommend we need more testing,” said Murphy. “I would hope once he digs into the data, he would ask how the data was prepared, what’s the basis of the data and do all the due diligence.”
City Attorney Maura Kiefer said the city’s contract with Biltmore Construction Co. of Clearwater is very clear and gives the city a 1-year warranty from the time of final acceptance.
“The contract states that the work will be free from defects for a period of one year from the final acceptance,” said Kiefer. “It says what it says. It says free from defects. It doesn’t say cosmetic defects. It says defects.”
“That’s good for us,” said Collins.
“It is good for us,” said Kiefer.
With the exception of a 500-foot section through the city of St. Petersburg’s section of the beach, the .9-mile trail was completed in early March. Within three weeks, small cracks showed up in the wall and later in the sidewalk.
Since then the problem has gotten worse, city officials said.