TREASURE ISLAND – City officials are moving forward in a process to get specifications and bids to repair cracks in the Central Beach Trail.
The city recently hired consultant Ken Roush to provide an opinion on the reason for the cracks.
Once Roush presents his conclusions, the city will set the specifications for bids on the project. Once a bid is selected, the city plans to file a claim against the performance bond of the original contractor, Biltmore Construction of Clearwater.
“There are a lot of moving parts to this,” said City Manager Reid Silverboard. “What we’re going to have to do is get an engineer out there, hopefully Mr. Roush, and have him look at it and make recommendations to us because we’re going to need a revised set of specs developed in order to go back out to bid. If it’s a demolition and rebuild, that’s relatively easy. But we obviously need specs that take into account the reason that this thing broke apart in the first place.”
The $1.2 million trail stretches nearly a mile along the beach behind the Bilmar Beach Resort north to the Residence Inn by Marriott.
The winding, lighted walkway was completed on March 19 and within weeks cracks started to appear in the concrete. On May 9, city attorney Maura Kiefer sent letters to Graham Booth Landscape Architecture, the project manager, and Biltmore Construction putting both companies on notice for a claim of defect and reminding them of the one-year warranty on the project.
Since then, Graham has hired a team of consultants to determine the reason for the cracks but the results of the study has not been delivered to the city.
In late August, commissioners grew weary of Graham’s slow progress on the issue and decided to hire Roush.
Kiefer said the city does not need to file a lawsuit at this point but didn’t rule out the possibility in the future.
“What we do know is that it is defective and what we do know is that the cracks are unacceptable,” she said.
Kiefer said the next step should probably be filing a claim against the performance bond.
“If they default under the terms of the performance bond, it is there to help the city,” Kiefer said.
Silverboard reminded commissioners that bond companies set the amount they will pay.
“It’s not a wide open situation,” he said. “What we are limited to is the amount of money we can front ourselves. Obviously, if we end up in litigation it could be a long time before that gets resolved.”
In other action, commissioners:
• Moved forward on a request by American Legion Post 158 to host the second annual Spring Salute Car and Truck Show March 8 on the beach behind the Bilmar Beach Resort.
• Moved forward on a resolution to accept a bid by Morelli Landscaping to install 31 three-tree clusters of palm trees along the Central Beach Trail at a cost of $24,645. The project is funded by a $25,000 donation from the Treasure Islettes.