After weeks of a massive utility construction job, Historic City News observes that only landscaping and fencing are visible at the installation of Lift Station 51 on Coquina Avenue as of this week.
This major public works project, which included installation of two lift stations, cost a little over $719,000. The City borrowed the money to finance the project through the issuance of $18 million in improvement bonds.
The project, approved by the City Commission in February 2011, was set in motion last spring and concluded just a few weeks ago.
These two stations, Lift Station 51, on Coquina Avenue near Arricola Avenue, and Lift Station 52, at Arredondo Avenue and Arricola Avenue, are located on the south side of Anastasia Boulevard.
Sewer pipes are installed on a slight incline so that when raw sewage leaves a home or business, it flows away. St Augustine has such little elevation, large pumps, called lift stations, are employed to move the material along to the treatment plant — in this case, across the bay to the southern end of Riberia Street.
The stations perform essential functions in the city’s sanitary sewer system; replacing equipment that had been in service for over half a century. Substantial deterioration and antiquated monitoring equipment made the old systems no longer capable of meeting current demands.
Public Affairs Director Paul K Williamson told reporters that these new lift stations will continue to serve all of Davis Shores with increased capacity and remote digital monitoring, which he says is especially critical during a weather emergency.
The new design has essential equipment above ground — reported to be safer and more accessible. Even with their increased presence, Williamson said the facility is less noticeable because of the fencing and landscaping installed when the project was complete.
The city reported saving well over $70,000 in design fees thanks to in-house engineering staff, in particular, Marcus Pinson. The contractor, G&H Underground Construction, Inc., completed the project 45-days ahead of schedule and under budget, Williamson told Historic City News.