By Steve Plunkett
Sections of the town’s narrowest roads could be widened at least 2 feet to combat water ponding on the pavement and ruts from vehicles that go off the asphalt.
The widening project, estimated to cost $238,386, could be finished by next winter. The proposal is posted on the town’s website, www.gulf-stream.org, for townsfolk to review.
“I think it’s something that the core [area] residents should evaluate and consider,” Mayor Scott Morgan said. “It’s not terribly expensive; it addresses the issues that have been raised every single day as long as I’ve been in this town. And I don’t think it would set back the future road improvements.”
Consulting engineer Baxter & Woodman Inc. presented photos at the May 8 Town Commission meeting documenting what are routine sights in Gulf Stream’s core area: rainwater backing up and completely covering parts of roadways, water ponding several inches deep at dysfunctional drains and deep ruts created by multiple cars and trucks.
The engineering firm recommends adding 1 foot of pavement to both lanes of Polo Drive from south of Palm Way to Old School Road, on Old School Road from Polo to Wright Way, on Banyan Road from Polo to Gulfstream Road, and on Lakeview Drive east of Gulfstream. That would make Polo Drive’s lanes 10 feet wide and the lanes of other roads up to a minimum 9 feet wide.
The two blocks of Lakeview west of Gulfstream Road will get 2 additional feet of asphalt in each lane, while the east side of Gulfstream will become 3 feet wider from Lakeview to Golfview Drive.
The town is in the second year of its 10-year capital improvement plan to replace water mains and rebuild streets. Planning for the reconstruction of Polo, Gulfstream and other roads in the core area is scheduled for fiscal 2021, with the work coming in fiscal 2022.
This year’s capital improvement work focuses on the water main along the northern section of State Road A1A. Also in May, town commissioners awarded a $1.9 million contract to Wellington-based low bidder Foster Marine Contractors Inc. for that work.
In other business:
• Town Manager Greg Dunham told commissioners that AT&T has stopped putting its fiber optic underground and wants more than $1 million to finish the work. Its existing contract was for $420,000.
“This is coming at the very tail end [of the project] — almost a blackmail-like attempt,” Morgan said.
Dunham said he would meet with Danny Brannon, the town’s main consultant on the underground utilities project, and the lawyer in Tallahassee who negotiated the contract with AT&T in 2017, to determine whether the higher cost is justified. FPL and Comcast were able to adapt to unexpected changes in the project without adjusting their fees, Morgan said.
• The eyesore house at 2775 Avenue Au Soleil was sold after the town reduced its lien to $125,000 and lifted its demand that the existing building be razed. But buyer Chet Snavely, who is also president of the Place Au Soleil Homeowners Association, plans to demolish the home anyway and “leave it as a lot,” Commissioner Donna White said.