Earlier this month, storm sewers in one of the city’s more exclusive neighborhoods started to fail.
Four 48” corrugated metal sewer pipes run from Gulfport Boulevard to and through the Pasadena Place neighborhood in the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club. These pipes, less than 20 years old, have started corroding, and recent rainfalls have caused the road to cave in over the rotting sewer lines.
“The heavy rains of September and October caused a portion of the asphalt roadway to collapse over two of the pipes,” Mr. Sopak, the city’s public works director, said in a memo to council.
City council voted to approve $37,250 to make the emergency repairs. Workers must dig up the road and replace two of the four pipes, then replace the road and repave. City council budgeted $75,000 for sewer repairs for the current fiscal year, which started October 1. After these emergency repairs, the Gulfport will have $37,750 left in this year’s budget for storm sewer repairs. Mr. Sopak told the Gabber he intended to use this year’s budgeted money for water treatment improvements and repairs as needed.
Repairs, Mr. Sopak says, shouldn’t wait.
“This work needs to be performed immediately,” Mr. Sopak says, “as any rainfall could cause more damage.”
“They’re corrugated metal? Is that normal?” Ward Two Councilwoman Christine Brown asked.
“If you’re on a farm, maybe,” Mr. Sopak said.
Gulfport’s Public Works department used a special camera to view the pipes and suggested the city budget to replace them. The city received a $455,000 estimate to replace all the sewer lines in the subdivision and planned to replace the pipes in the 2016 budget year.
Storm sewer pipes can be made of metal, “but if you want them to last a long time, they would be made of concrete or plastic or some type of composite,” Mr. Sopak said. The city will replace them with heavy duty (HD) plastic pipes. The city did not install the storm sewer lines; the contractor who built the subdivision – US Steel – handled the installation.
The initial estimate for a total replacement of all four pipes ($455,000) should decrease by the cost of this repair. When the city begins replacing the storm sewers in this neighborhood, it will seek co-funding from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
These four pipes are the only four that the city has responsibility for maintaining in the whole of the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club.
“We don’t own it,” he told council, “but we maintain it.”