The Coastal Star

Delray Beach: City addressing water issues on Marine Way

By Jane Smith
    Marine Way property owners are seeing the city’s efforts to cure problems caused by extreme high tides.
    The Delray Beach road, which has been restricted to residents’ vehicles since November, will get a new water main on the western edge, under an emergency order approved in mid-February by the City Commission.
    The existing water main along the eastern edge was only 24 inches below grade, though city standards call for at least 30 inches. That section of the road is deteriorating from tidal action and the wake from boats passing nearby in the Intracoastal Waterway. If a heavy truck were to travel on Marine Way, the water main could burst, making repairs difficult and cutting off drinking water to eight single-family residences.
    The commission approved an emergency contract for $98,634 with AKA Services, which is performing similar work for the Tropic Palms upgrade project. The cost will cover 432 linear feet of 8-inch pipe.
    The new water main should be in place in 30 days, said John Morgan, Environmental Services director.
    The city already has an engineering study underway on the 600-foot seawall along Marine Way and the 704-foot dock at the City Marina. The commission approved spending $28,850 to the Wantman Group in early February. The study will be completed by the beginning of June, according to the terms of the contract.
    In the meantime, Morgan will meet with the property owners in the Marina Historic District in March to tell them about a 2008 study done to connect Marine Way with Veterans Park. If there’s consensus, Morgan said, he will move forward with a plan to limit vehicles on Marine Way to residents, public safety and trash removal. The plans also call for a wider walkway.
    “Then we’ll try to find money to do the project,” he said.
    In other business at its mid-February meeting, the City Commission:
    • Authorized spending $39,096 to the Wantman Group for design services of a failing seawall at the southeast corner of the Island Drive bridge and the Intracoastal Waterway. Morgan assured Mayor Cary Glickstein it was a city-owned seawall and that some of the damage was caused by a city-owned tree. The contract calls for a completion date in early June.
    • Agreed to put quiet zones at most of the 12 FEC railroad crossings in the city. The county’s Metropolitan Planning Organization will pay for the upgrades, while the city shoulders the annual maintenance cost. The quiet zones are needed because of the anticipated 32 passenger trains, now called Brightline, which will run daily in 2017 between Miami and Orlando.
    Also outside the city’s control are the location and size of cell phone towers in the railroad’s right of way so that Brightline passengers can have continuous Wi-Fi service along the route.

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