The bulkhead at Riverfront Park along River Road has been deteriorating and we have experienced washouts several times in the past few years. Hurricane Matthew dealt the bulkhead and park a serious blow rendering it unsafe to get close to the water’s edge. Initially, a temporary barricade was installed but since park users were ignoring the barricade and climbing over it, the City installed the temporary fence that is currently in place.
Funds were allocated last year in the budget, and again this year, to cover the cost of bulkhead replacement. The guaranteed maximum price provided by the City’s Design-Build Contractor was substantially in excess of the original budget, and even after additional geo-technical work the price remained almost the same. The City is reaching out to other contractors in an effort to confirm the cost and will make a decision this month to either proceed to bid the project or continue work with our current Design-Build contractor. We still anticipate work can begin this spring or summer and that the full bulkhead will be replaced. At this point, we are simply confirming that we are getting a good value for the investment of taxpayer funds.
You may recall a discussion in community meetings last year about managing fishing activity in the park by constructing one or two fishing platforms that would extend into the river, and then eliminating fishing from the bulkhead. The Parks Department has included the cost of designing a fishing platform in their list of grant requests for Florida Inland Navigation District grants for the coming year. The list has yet to be approved by Council but will be moving through the process next month. If approved, the application will be included in the FIND submission, and if the grant is awarded, work on design would begin next fall or winter. I will make sure you are kept abreast of the status and seek community input on any design.