40th Avenue Bridge timeline UPDATE
St. Petersburg, Fla. (January 9, 2018) -- There have been a lot of questions on the status of the 40th Avenue Bridge over Smack’s Bayou. While it is understandable that the span’s users, nearby residents and other stakeholders want quick action and rapid repair/replacement, please be aware that the process is a necessarily methodical one. Professional services more than $2 million dollars are required -- by state statute -- to go through a very specific bid and production process.
Requests for Qualifications went out (as required) in mid-November. By mid-December, the Statements of Qualification were received and vetted. As of this writing, the City of St. Petersburg has identified four finalists for the design firm who will shepherd the process through from planning and public meetings stage through completion. Making that selection will be an integral part of the project.
Final discussions of the evaluation committee comprised of City of St. Petersburg staff as well as representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will be held January 22, 2018 from 1-3 pm at the St. Petersburg Water Resources Training Room located at 1650 3rd Ave N., St. Petersburg, FL 33713. That meeting is open to the public.
Once the design firm is selected, the city will enter into negotiations for the scope development. That should be happening starting in February and continuing through the next year. Preliminary steps will include public involvement to get input on design wants and needs of the “new” structure which will connect the Northeast Park and Shore Acres neighborhoods. Then concepts will be drafted and presented to stakeholders for further discussion and decision.
Keep in mind that this is a design that must be permitted through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as other state and federal agencies, so once the design is finalized, those entities must approve their portion of the plan before it can proceed.
Once that design is approved, the bid process will begin to select a contractor to build the structure. That exercise may take several months to publicly advertise, ensuring fairness and to the ability to identify the best bidder to complete the task.
Finally, after receiving City Council approval and a notice to proceed, the construction phase could last another two years.