Marco Council approves seeking bids for $8 million bridges project; moves ahead on fire boat

Marco Island Councilor Bill Trotter and wife, Beverly, listen as Council Chairman Larry Magel reads praise for Trotterís accomplishments while on City Council for more than 8.5 years. Monday was Trotterís final meeting as a city councilor. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Marco Island Councilor Bill Trotter and wife, Beverly, listen as Council Chairman Larry Magel reads praise for Trotterís accomplishments while on City Council for more than 8.5 years. Monday was Trotterís final meeting as a city councilor. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

— In the last meeting before elections, Marco Island City Council voted to see how competitive individual bids would be for the estimated $8 million replacement of two bridges at Smokehouse Bay on Collier Boulevard. On Monday, the vote fell short of actually funding construction, leaving that decision to the council seated after elections in November.

In a 6-1 vote to approve seeking bids, council grappled with how to extend the life of the bridges without replacement. Council Chairman Larry Magel suggested repairs totaling $650,000 could keep the bridges serviceable for another five years.

"It's a band-aid approach. That's what the county and FDOT have been doing for years," said Tim Pinter, public works director.

The Smokehouse Bay bridges, northbound and southbound, were built in 1963. Their expected life was about 45 years, Pinter said. Independent engineers assessed and rated the bridges, finding structural deficiencies and deterioration to the point of concern.

The bridges are integral to the island's hurricane evacuation route and could be damaged in a catastrophic event, consultants noted.

Engineers found concrete bridge decks deteriorated by nearly half, cracked and corroded bulkheads adjacent to the bridges, and rotted timbers meant to prevent bulkhead movement. Newly installed water and sewer lines under one bridge were shored up with concrete bags.

Although the consultants found these areas extremely concerning, they did not recommend replacement as the only option. Their report suggested remedial steps could forestall rebuilding the bridges for the near future. The bid results are expected to help drive the decision.

Marco Fire-Rescue Department Captain Tom Bogan explains the value of purchasing a new fire-rescue boat during Mondayís city council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Marco Fire-Rescue Department Captain Tom Bogan explains the value of purchasing a new fire-rescue boat during Mondayís city council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Marco Island City Council approved purchase Monday of a fire-rescue boat (similar to the one pictured) at a cost of $400,000. The boat could be delivered to the island in less than a year when training on the vessel will commence. Submitted

Marco Island City Council approved purchase Monday of a fire-rescue boat (similar to the one pictured) at a cost of $400,000. The boat could be delivered to the island in less than a year when training on the vessel will commence. Submitted

$400,000 fire boat moves forward

Council did authorize the city manager to execute a contract and acquire funding for a new vessel for the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department. The boat is estimated to cost $400,000 and would be purchased on a lease-to-buy program. Councilor Bill Trotter opposed the purchase in a 6-1 vote.

The boat will allow on-the-water rescue personnel to float injured victims onboard through a water-level entrance rather than over gunwales, the only method available with the current rescue craft. Two stretcher bays will be accessible to EMS for emergency medical treatment from the time of rescue to onshore transportation.

Many of the department's calls are personal watercraft accidents, said Captain Tom Bogan of the fire-rescue department. The most common injuries are head and neck, requiring extreme caution when retrieving victims to prevent further injury, he said. An accident involving two personal watercraft earlier this year resulted in one death.

"The quality of this boat is phenomenal," Fire Chief Mike Murphy said on Tuesday. "The citizens are going to get the best value and a long-term investment for their money."

Mario Curiale asks Marco Island City Council Monday to offer impact fee relief for his planned Italian-style pizza restaurant. The relief would mirror a program already implemented by Collier County. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Mario Curiale asks Marco Island City Council Monday to offer impact fee relief for his planned Italian-style pizza restaurant. The relief would mirror a program already implemented by Collier County. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Council considers impact fee relief

In other actions, Council moved to consider impact fee relief for new owner-occupancy and renovation projects of existing retail space. The relief would mirror Collier County's plan. Restaurateur Mario Curiale, who hopes to open an Italian-style pizza restaurant at 845 Bald Eagle Drive, asked council to consider the relief.

Curiale is planning a 150-seat facility in the 1,979 sq. ft. vacated by a retail store. In Collier County and under certain conditions, he would receive impact fee relief as an incentive for filling vacant but occupiable space.

Council voted to ask staff to create an ordinance for the island similar to the county's plan. Council will consider it at a future meeting. Conditions include no changes to the facility outside the exiting square footage, no demolition and reconstruction projects, and a previous occupancy in the space of at least three years.

South Beach renourishment

A report by Gary McAlpin of Collier County's Coastal Zoning Management Department addressed south beach's renourishment project. Work on rebuilding breakwaters and sand replacement received permits from all agencies, and the project has been sent out to bid.

McAlpin cautioned that when work commences rebuilding structures will require 12 hours a day during 6 days a week. Sand placement will continue for 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The affected area is located at the end of south beach from Cape Marco to in front of the Apollo Condominium.

By deviating from the schedule, costs would increase and the work would bump into turtle nesting season, McAlpin explained. He asked councilors to approve the work hours, and they did so unanimously."I would like to see it done as quickly as possible," said Councilor Wayne Waldack.

"This is the first I've heard of the 24/7," said Councilor Jerry Gibson. "It's crucial that we have reins if we start getting complaints."

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Comments » 14

marco826 writes:

We spend money like its water.....sorry......well it's in the water and over the water.

RayPray writes:

"The quality of this boat is phenomenal," Fire Chief Mike Murphy said on Tuesday. "The citizens are going to get the best value and a long-term investment for their money."

Hope Chief Murphy doesn't forget to let our esteemed counselors -- only 3 of whom are currently in foreclosure procedure -- to enjoy bouncy ride in the new boat and also to sound the horn so as to impress taxpayers along the shore.

Sparky100 writes:

Didn't I just read somewhere Capri or Naples was replacing their fire boat for half what we plan to spend, what gives? In regards to a new restaurent, please no parking exceptions.

GFonda writes:

Regarding the Beach Renourishment, similiar work was done about 5 or 6 years ago at the same location. None of the counselors asked what time of year that work was done; and couldn't remember if it was particularly disturbing. Is it possible that it was done just before or just after the "season" when fewer people would be affected? This time it will be during the "season" requiring 24/7 disturbance of the peaceful enjoyment of nearby resident's properry. So, do the work around timeframes that do not disturb turtles and people.

ambulancia writes:

How are they going to use the Fire Boat? Taking families out for sunset cruises? Yesterday (10/15) the Chief 52 truck was running around North Naples with a child in the front seat. They stopped for a sub, and kept cruising like it was their own vehicle. Bet the kid was picked up at school too. Nice to see the Marco tax money being well spent. If I ask nicely, will Chief 52 deliver a sub to me also????

26yearsonmarco writes:

"Engineers found concrete bridge decks deteriorated by nearly half, cracked and corroded bulkheads adjacent to the bridges, and rotted timbers meant to prevent bulkhead movement. Newly installed water and sewer lines under one bridge were shored up with concrete bags."

"Although the consultants found these areas extremely concerning, they did not recommend replacement as the only option. Their report suggested remedial steps could forestall rebuilding the bridges for the near future. The bid results are expected to help drive the decision."

Question: Are bids being taken for REPAIR as well as REPLACEMENT??

MrBreeze writes:

Total waste of the taxpayer dollars. Fire equipment is always the "toys" of any city.

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot writes:

A $400,000 fire boat to rescue morons that shouldn't be riding a jet ski to begin with. If you crash a jet ski there is no way more than a couple of your brain cells actually work.

JohninMarco writes:

At least Gibson can finally lead the Christmas boat parade in this baby!

BronxGal writes:

MORE MARCO FOLLIES!!! $400,000 for rescue boat replacement ? How many rescues do we have a year ? How old is the present boat ?
And 8 million to replace 2 bridges ? Seem to remember we replaced the Winterberry bridge for a little over 2 million . Which I think is a very attractive bridge .

marconan writes:

"The quality of this boat is phenomenal," Fire Chief Mike Murphy said on Tuesday. "The citizens are going to get the best value and a long-term investment for their money."

Sounds like the Chief is really excited about getting this boat.

I wonder what kind of non-emergency excuses they are going to keep coming up with to use the boat. I never saw the old boat riding around the island, I hope I don't start seeing this one.

Then they will say they need more personnel.

gwiller3 writes:

The new Jolley bridge was estimated to cost $25.5M plus engineering and inspection cost of $2.4M. The span is 1500 feet, height is 55 feet and paved width is 48 feet.

The proposed two Smokehouse bridges are estimated at $12M. The spans are 75 feet each (150 total), height 12-14 feet and width 48 feet.

Based on span only, one could expect the Smokehouse bridge to come in at about $2.8M.

Jack Willer

FECOYLE writes:

I hope election day gets here before 400000 is blown on a boat for Mayberry

marcofriend writes:

in response to Hascle:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm not supporting this big expense, but you do need to remember that the Smokehouse Bay Bridge is not one bridge but is acutually two bridges. Winterberry Bridge was over 4 million so if you multiply X 2 you will get to 8 million. We need a better gauge as to whether this has to be done at this time or can it be patched up and used for several more years.

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