ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. — Tuesday morning St. Pete Beach officials updated home and business owners about two projects to update the aging sewer system and put overhead electrical lines underground.
New documents show the city now plans to start construction on the electrical line project in May 2020, instead of January. In July, city leaders plan to begin work to tear out and replace 60-year-old sewer pipes.
During the meeting, city leaders told home and business owners they plan to lessen the impacts on traffic along Gulf Boulevard by working on 5-6 block segments at a time for 1-2 months in each area.
Together, the projects will bring construction to the doorsteps of hundreds of businesses for a year and a half to two years.
- After sewers overflow, we test the Boca Ciega Bay for contamination
- St. Pete Beach aggressively fights for money to make sewer fixes
Currently, the St. Pete Beach sewer system is so old and overloaded that there is a moratorium on any new hotels on Gulf boulevard. The rule also restricts existing hotels from adding more rooms. The moratorium has been in place since 2016. This construction will allow the city to restart developing new hotels.
In May, St. Pete Beach leaders are scheduled to begin the $24 million project. The electrical undergrounding is being paid for by Penny for Pinellas tax dollars. The new sanitary sewer force main will be paid for with state-involved funding loans.
The sewer project will also help alleviate major sewage spills, which caused city leaders to dump partially-treated sewage into Boca Ciega Bay during tropical storms a few years ago.
The construction will impact commutes along Gulf Boulevard, but city leaders promise to keep business owners informed about where and when construction will be taking place.
St. Pete Beach Mayor Al Johnson says they will keep people informed through the city's website, e-mail list, SPB Connect smartphone app and with in-person visits to larger businesses along Gulf Boulevard.