By Steve Plunkett

Consultant EDSA Inc. will be given $483,700 to continue designing the combined Wildflower-Silver Palm Park at the Palmetto Park Road bridge over the Intracoastal.

The money will cover schematic design, detailed design documents, site plans, permitting and construction documents. The Fort Lauderdale-based landscape architecture firm will also provide bidding assistance.

The Boca Raton City Council approved the expense at its Jan. 23 meeting.

EDSA as lead consultant will keep $235,700 of the total. Subconsultants CPZ Architects, Delta G Consulting Engineers, Flynn Engineering Services, Freeport Fountains, and MUEngineers will share $236,000 for architecture; mechanical, electrical and plumbing; civil engineering, aquatic engineering and structural engineering, respectively. The remaining $12,000 will cover printing, courier and shipping charges for the various documents.

Kona Gray, the EDSA principal shepherding the project, told council members in late November that the parks should be designed as one cohesive park instead of two neighboring facilities. The integrated park will have a third boat ramp, more parking for boat trailers, a wide promenade along the Intracoastal Waterway, a “signature” water feature and “shade sails” over its benches.

Council members told Gray to revise his plans to add more play opportunities for children, perhaps combined with public art; more vehicle parking (the Wildflower side dropped to 32 spaces from 50 in the previous plan); moving the restrooms farther from the Intracoastal; removing a turnaround from under the bridge; and adding concrete stairs from the bridge down to the park on the north side similar to the ones on the south. Moving the restrooms will cost $500,000; in all, the consolidated parks will cost $8 million, Gray has estimated.

The city has $1 million in its budget this fiscal year and $2 million in fiscal 2020 to build the park on the Wildflower side. The 2020 budget also has $1.5 million pegged for the Silver Palm side. Boca Raton plans to hold a contest to name the combined parks if no one makes a substantial donation in exchange for naming rights.

Separately, EDSA is developing a master plan for the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center that envisions doubling the number of visitors to 500,000 a year. 

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