Meeting Date:           November 14, 2011


From:                          Raymond S. Sharp, Environmental Services/Public Works Director


Subject:                      Discuss Venetian Gardens Bridges Replacement Methods and Budget



Staff Recommendation:

Staff recommends replacement of Venetian Gardens Bridges with wooden structures similar to existing, through a design-build procurement method, with a total budget not to exceed $365,000.



Several months ago, Commission received a briefing on the condition of the Venetian Gardens bridges, maintenance issues associated with the bridges, and several possible options for replacement.  Following that meeting, the City Manager directed staff to further evaluate the options and develop the project.


It was apparent that the cost of steel or aluminum replacements exceeded the funds available for the project.  It is also apparent that all but one of the bridges require replacement. 


After further review, staff reached several conclusions:  first, funding constraints limit the style and materials of replacement bridges to wooden bridges; second, replacement wooden bridges should address maintenance and durability issues; third, replacement bridges must conform to ADA requirements.


Staff sought input from two separate contractors.  One contractor was recommended to the city by a reputable local contractor who specialized in highway and site work; the other contractor was the one who had originally constructed the bridges.  Independently, both contractors offered the opinion that replacement with wooden bridges was likely to be the most cost-effective solution.  Both contractors opined that it may be possible to salvage some of the pilings, but at the expense of aesthetics.  Both contractors gave similar informal estimates of cost.  One contractor recommended that a design-build approach offered several advantages to the city.


In addition, staff sought input from an engineer with experience designing and constructing similar bridges in park settings throughout Florida.  He concurred with the design-build approach.  He also offered a number of suggestions for cost-effective replacements.


In aggregate, the recommendations from contractors and the engineer lead staff to make the following recommendations:


  1.  Replace the bridges with similar wooden structures.  This preserves the aesthetics of the park setting and is the most economic construction method.
  2. Replacement bridges will be required to conform to ADA requirements.
  3. Strongly consider the use of manufactured composite materials for decking, and hand rails.  These materials are extremely durable, attractive, and are very cost effective when one considers the avoided costs of maintenance and replacement of wooden decking.  The slight increase in cost is more than offset by avoided maintenance costs.
  4. Based upon estimates provided by contractors, establish a not-to-exceed budget of $350,000 to replace all but one of the bridges (to MLK Island).  For that bridge, establish a budget of $15,000 for repairs.
  5. Execute the work as a design-build project.



1.  Replace Venetian Gardens bridges as described with a total budget of $365,000; or,

2.  Such alternative action as the Commission may deem appropriate



Fiscal Impact

The current budget includes $85,000 to replace one bridge which is being funded from the 2004 Capital Improvements Bond Transportation category.  The additional funding of $280,000 is also available in the 2004 Capital Improvement Bond Transportation Category aA budget adjustment will be necessary to add these funds to the current budget.  The unrestricted 2004 Capital Improvements Bond funds total $480,000.

source for this project, if approved will be 2004 bond proceeds.


Submission Date and Time:    11/10/2011 2:04 PM11/9/2011 9:24 AM11/4/2011 8:12 AM11/3/2011 12:49 PM11/3/2011 12:03 PM____


Department: Public Works

Prepared by:  R. Sharp                   

Attachments:         Yes____   No  X_

Advertised:   ____Not Required  X                       

Dates:   __________________________                     

Attorney Review :       Yes___  No ____



Revised 6/10/04


Reviewed by: Dept. Head rss


Finance  Dept. ______JB____________                                     


Deputy C.M. ___________________                                                                         

Submitted by:

City Manager ___________________


Account No. _031-8124-572-6310________________


Project No. __310081_________________


WF No. _____743901/1_________________


Budget  _____$85,000.00_________________


Available _      $85,000.00________________________