More delays for Luke Wood Lift project

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Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 5:28 pm | Updated: 6:05 pm, Tue Jul 9, 2013.

SARASOTA, FLA - Lift station #7 is the single largest sewer treatment plant in the city of Sarasota.  But after more than 30 years in use, city officials began an $11 million project to replace the site.

Construction began in 2008, years later residents who live close by say they don't see the progress.

"I think it's abominable it's been 5 years," said Donna Gannon-Coe.  Gannon-Coe about the Luke Wood Park lift station project, which was supposed to completed in 2011 and replace an existing lift station located on Pomelo Avenue.  But in the midst of the construction things came to an halt.

"We've contended with dust and dirt from the construction for all these five years.  And now there's a major problem with the engineering. They've had to go back to the drawing board and start this thing all over," said Gannon-Coe.

According to project plans, the Pomelo lift site was supposed to be renovated into a new state of the art underground sanitary sewer system lift.  It was supposed to be connected underground to the site located under Luke Wood Park.  Both locations are complete but engineers are now unable to connect the two points together.

"They actually dismissed the original engineers for failure to take due diligence for what he was suppose to do," said David Coe.

We spoke to Steve Topovski the city lead engineer on the project.  Topovski confirms the original contractor is no longer working on the project but he says the city is in the process of hiring a new engineer company.  In the mean time residents in the area say the abandoned construction sites have become an eyesore.

"This is the point where 301 and 41 intersect.  When people approaching to turn on our very attractive bayfront, they are greeted with fencings, piping, it just looks very scruffy," said Coe.

Officials say the contract to hire the new engineering company is under review by the legal department. If approved commissioners will then vote on whether to hire the company.

"It's ridiculous that we are going to have to put up this with this for another two years," said Gannon-Coe.

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