CLEARWATER - The City of Clearwater is wasting no time following voter approval of the downtown boat slips during the March election. Dave Gildersleeve, representing the city's consultant on the project Wade Trim, laid out a project time line for the City Council last week.
The first step in the project will be the construction of the pedestrian promenade. Plans for the public promenade have been under development since February of this year, and should be complete by August, Gildersleeve explained. The permit application process will consume May through September of this year.
The City will solicit bids for constructing the Promenade in September, and select the winning bid by year-end. Gildersleeve said that construction would begin in January 2008, and complete in September 2008.
Because the boat slips will use a specialized floating concrete wave attenuation system, the city will be using a single contractor to both design and build the facility. A "Design Criteria Package" will be prepared by July of this year, and bids from the marine industry will be solicited; the winner will be selected in September according to Glidersleeve.
The final design of the facility will be developed with the chosen contractor between October and December of 2007, and that design will be submitted to several permitting agencies, with all approvals expected by December of 2008. Construction would begin in January of 2009, with completion projected in July 2009.
Gildersleeve's schedule provides more time for the permitting than actual construction, an acknowledgement of the complexity of the permitting process. The project will require permits from three agencies: Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) and the Pinellas County Navigation and Control Authority.
In addition, Gildersleeve explained that plans would be reviewed by several "Commenting Agencies", including the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Florida Division of Historical and Archeological Resources, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, and the Florida Department of Transportation. The project must also go through the city's own site plan approval and permitting processes.
If the schedule is adhered to, prospective slip renters could begin moving their boats in by late summer 2009.