Two Sarasota County capital improvement projects have garnered statewide awards and a third project has won a national award for excellence.
The Honore Avenue improvements project and the Siesta Key to Casey Key water main interconnect project each won statewide American Public Works Association (APWA) Project of the Year Awards, which were presented April 26 during the Florida APWA Chapter Annual Conference in Jacksonville. Employees of Sarasota County Public Works, Capital Assets, accepted the awards on behalf of the county.
The Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility Phase 3 project won an Environmental Excellence Award in the Conservation category from the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) at the joint conference of the NAEP and the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) held in Los Angeles. That award, which was nominated by Stanley Consultants of Sarasota, the county’s construction, engineering and inspection (CEI) firm on the project, was presented April 2. Representatives of Stanley Consultants and Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., the permitting and design firm, were on hand to accept the award and plaque.
Details about the three projects include:
•Honore Avenue improvements: This approximately $18 million design-build project, which extended Honore Avenue from Fruitville to Bee Ridge roads, won the state’s American Public Works Association (APWA) Project of the Year Award for a transportation project in the $5 million to $25 million category. The 2.7-mile-long extension of Honore Avenue was a critical missing link in one of the major north-south county thoroughfares. The project was designed to protect the neighborhood character with minimal intrusion, yet provide greater mobility for residents and visitors by constructing an appealing two-lane divided roadway with sustainable, environmentally friendlyfeatures, including Florida-friendly landscaping, bio-swales and rain gardens to treat stormwater runoff and vegetative buffers. Bicycle lanes, meandering sidewalks on both sides of the road, crosswalks, bus stops, a decorative intersection medallion and energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights in the medians were included in the design-build project. Six roundabouts were built to provide safer and more efficient traffic flow. The project also saved about 75 percent of the existing mature, canopy trees in the roadway corridor. It was completed in November 2011.
•Casey Key water main interconnect: This $1.1 million project won the APWA Project of the Year Award in the emergency construction/repair under $5 million category. The project replaced a leaking water main serving the two barrier islands of Siesta Key and Casey Key. Since the location crossed sensitive marine habitats and a marine preserve, it required extensive permitting and coordination with regulatory authorities, as well as innovative construction techniques involving a horizontal directional bore under environmentally sensitive areas. The new water main significantly improved water reliability and increased fire flow availability from 470 gallons per minute (GPM) to more than 840 GPM. The project was completed in December 2012.
•Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility Phase 3: This $7.2 million project won the Environmental Excellence Award in the conservation category from the National Association of Environmental Professionals. Built on an approximately 450-acre site formerly used to grow celery, the stormwater project provides flood protection, floodplain storage, water quality improvements and wetland restoration habitat. It is also a passive recreational site, with walking trails around the perimeter of the facility, an improved walking and bicycle trail on the 75-foot-tall Observation Mound, sidewalks and a parking area at the gazebo. It has become a major site for bird watching, with at least 216 species identified. The grand opening of the facility was celebrated in April 2011.