Town of Palm Beach News

Third Undergrounding Phase To Begin This Summer

If all goes well, construction on the third phase of Palm Beach’s utility-burial project could begin this summer, as reported by the Palm Beach Daily News. The project, with the goal of eventually burying all power, cable television and phone lines on the island, has eight total phases, as reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

The Town Council of Palm Beach will consider one committee’s recommendation for a firm that would act as construction manager-at-risk for Phase 2 South and Phase 3 South of the project on Feb. 14.

Originally scheduled for last October, Phase 2 of the undergrounding was put on hold after the Town and Whiting-Turner Construction could not agree on a price. Whiting-Turner was the only contractor that submitted a qualified proposal.

Whiting-Turner wanted $2 million above the town’s estimate of $4.7 million. Town officials believed that the strong economy was the reason for the high bid.

Palm Beach held a workshop Sept. 28 to drum up interest in the project, and combined Phases 2 South and 3 South into one project in an attempt to appeal to more firms.

Third Undergrounding Phase To Begin This Summer

The Town’s manager on the under grounding project, Steve Stern, said Tuesday that seven companies submitted proposals, and five were invited to make presentations. Although they were one of the five selected, Whiting-Turner chose not to make a presentation.

After the most qualified firm is selected—based on proposals, not financial bids—that firm will solicit prices from subcontractors. Then, if the town and the construction manager are able to agree on an overall price, the firm is hired and moves ahead with the project.

Although Florida Power and Light and AT&T have submitted design specifications for the upcoming phases, Comcast has not submitted specifications for Phase 3 South.

Related >>> Town of Palm Beach Undergrounding Project Update

The Town has contacted property owners about volunteering easements for the project. In Phase 3 South, 91 easements are needed. So far, the Town has reached 17 owners and has owner approval for four, said Kevin Schanen. Schanen is vice president with Kimley-Horn and Associates, the Town’s engineering consultant.

Even if the easements are not obtained by this summer, the start of construction will not be delayed, Schanen said.

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Alanna Barrett

Alanna Barrett

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