By Steve Plunkett
Gulf Stream needs $10 million over the next 10 years — roughly double what it usually budgets — to replace aging water pipes and repair streets, consultants say.
Joe Kenney, an engineer with Mathews Consulting, told town commissioners March 9 that overall the town’s water pipes provide good flow for daily conditions. But as another consulting firm warned Gulf Stream in 2012, the water mains are old and getting older.
“A lot of it is pre-1970s. It’s coming to the end of its expected service life,” Kenney said.
Kenney recommended replacing 19,700 linear feet of pipe, almost half the town’s total 44,367 linear feet, in the coming decade.
He also looked at the roadway and storm sewer systems and devised three strategies for Gulf Stream: resurfacing a road with minimal utility work, replacing a water main with trench paving and resurfacing the road, and reconstructing a road with grading and sewer adjustments and water main replacement.
The third strategy “is kind of starting over to make sure everything functions adequately,” he said.
The engineers also rated Gulf Stream’s streets and found none are perfect and none are failing.
“All the roads are generally in that middle category — minimal or moderate defects,” Kenney said. He also suggested widening roadways when possible.
“Some roadways it’s 11 or 12 feet. If you were going to build a new road in South Florida the standard is 20 feet. We see variances to 18 feet,” he said, promising to produce a map showing which streets could be wider.
Kenney said town commissioners could generate an economy of scale and minimize disruption to residents by bundling some projects together rather than trying to do one or two each year.
“The impact on the residents is going to be a major part of this equation,” Town Manager Greg Dunham said.
Included in the target list of future projects are reconstruction of Bermuda Lane, Old School Road, Gulf Stream Road, Oleander Way, Polo Drive and Middle Road and replacing the final 3,550 feet of water main under State Road A1A up to Sea Road.
Commissioners will review Kenney’s draft report; Dunham asked him to return with a possible timetable showing which projects to tackle first.
In other business, town commissioners adopted an ordinance lifting term limits on members of the Architectural Review and Planning Board and then reappointed ARPB members Thomas Smith and Malcolm Murphy.
Previously board members could serve only three consecutive three-year terms.