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Marco Island City Council authorized the city manager to execute an agreement for construction engineering and inspection services to replace the utilities within Yellowbird St. for an amount not to exceed $116,735.

Hole Montes, Inc., will be in charge of providing shop drawings, responding to requests for information and providing assistance with change orders during construction, among other responsibilities, according to its proposal to the city,

Council approved the agreement on April 6 as part of the consent agenda, meaning all councilors voted in favor and no discussion or debate took place.

On Feb. 18, City Council authorized the city manager to award a contract for the reconstruction of Yellowbird St. to Wright Construction group for over $4 million.

The first estimate for the project was done nine years ago for $3.5 million, said Public Works Director Tim Pinter.

Pinter told the Eagle the design and contract award process took twice as long as it would normally do.

"We hired Hole Montes to do the design of the roadway portion of Yellowbird initially," he said. "Part of that work was to do a pavement evaluation."

"It came back that we need to do a full-depth replacement."

Pinter continued.

"That's when we discovered that the utilities would probably be affected," he said. "So [...] the roadway portion of the design stopped because we couldn't advance any further and the [...] Utility division hired Hole Montes to do the utility relocation portion."

"Then we combined the two (designs) and put them out to bid."

The project will also include redoing the narrowest portion of the sidewalk, upgrading it from four feet wide to five feet wide.

Councilor Larry Honig said residents on Yellowbird are concerned about its heavy traffic. Honig said on during a previous meeting he presented a photograph of a roundabout used in the Lake Park area of Naples.

Councilor Howard Reed, on the other hand, said the city should first consider less-expensive measures to lower traffic on Yellowbird.

"There are many ways to modify people's behavior and get the results we want that don't involve concrete," Reed said. "There are ways to change the speed limits; you can put a sign that says 'no trucks,' you can do enforcement."

Since 2018, trucks weighting over 10,000 pounds are not allowed on Yellowbird. 

Jared Grifoni, council vice-chair, said the city should also consider measures to encourage drivers to use main roads

"If we are looking to [...] encourage traffic on the main roads, we need to make it easier for them to get where they need to go," Grifoni said. "I don't know if that means by looking at [...] the left turn arrow on Elkcam [...] and then the left turn over by Bald Eagle on Elkcam." 

More: Marco Island council awards $4M contract for Yellowbird Street reconstruction project

Omar Rodríguez Ortiz is a community reporter for Naples Daily News and Marco Eagle. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram as @Omar_fromPR, and on Facebook. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.

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