Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
$300K proposed for bike lanes

ISLAMORADA -- Paving bicycle lanes on three Plantation Key residential streets will cost $300,000, a proposed change to the contract of the village's sewer contractor Layne states.

The Village Council will review the proposed change when it meets Thursday, Sept. 12, for its regular legislative session.

If approved, bike lanes would be built on Sunshine Boulevard in the north Plantation Key neighborhood of Kahiki Harbor, Royal Poinciana Boulevard in Plantation Key Colony and Seminole Boulevard in middle Plantation Key's Indian Waterways. The roads were chosen because bicyclists and pedestrians, including school children, already commonly use them.

Woods Avenue, also in Plantation Key Colony, had previously been contemplated for a bike lane as well, but has been eliminated from consideration. The reason, said Councilman Mike Forster, is that Woods is not expected to get as much bike traffic as nearby Royal Poinciana.

The lanes would be built in conjunction with repaving work that Layne, known locally as Reynolds Water Islamorada, is set to begin this month on middle and north Plantation Key.

Included in the proposed change order for the bike lanes is $124,000 that Layne isn't going to spend on patching areas that the company dug in order to lay sewer lines. The patching work became redundant once the village decided over the summer to instead award Layne an $8.3 million contract change for full road overlays.

If the council approves the bike lanes, it would bring the total cost of the sewer contract to $99.3 million.

Also at the Thursday meeting, Councilman Dave Purdo is once again scheduled to bring forward his call to oust the village's engineering contractor, Wade Trim. Purdo had planned to make his case for the move at the council's Aug. 8 meeting, but pulled the item at the 11th hour to do more research, he said.

Wade Trim serves as the watchdog for the village's sewer project, overseeing the design and construction work of Layne.

From May 2012 through this past June, the village paid Wade Trim and its subconsultants nearly $2.8 million for their work in that capacity. From January through June, Wade Trim billed the village between $222,000 and $353,000 monthly, records show.

Purdo says it could be done much cheaper. In an interview Monday, he questioned whether there was redundancy between the work of Wade Trim and its subcontractor, Weiler. For example, he said, both firms have reviewed the sewer system designs, billing the village a combined $287,000 for the work.

Purdo briefly broached the concept of ending the village's relationship with Wade Trim at a July 25 council meeting, but on first blush the suggestion generated little enthusiasm from his colleagues.

Vice Mayor Ted Blackburn praised the firm in an interview last month.

"Wade Trim has been relentless in both working with and watching the progress of Reynolds," he said.

rsilk@keysnews.com

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