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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

$1? In Clearwater, make it $1.16



Another day, another cost overrun in a Clearwater public works project. Clearwater City Council learned Monday that a $950,000 plan to build a promenade along the city's downtown waterfront is actually gonna cost about 16 percent more: $1,130,266.

For City Councilman Paul Gibson, who didn’t support the promenade start with, nor its $11-million counterpart (132 boat slips, a boardwalk and fishing pier), it was an "I told you so" moment. The “city’s history is one of exceeding capital budgets which is unacceptable," Gibson told Bay Buzz. "Much of the blame lies at the feet of well-paid consultants who fail to properly design our capital projects.”

Mayor Frank Hibbard who supported the project also was disappointed. "It’s one of the frustrating facts when dealing with engineering and designs versus real construction,” the mayor said.

What caused the overrun? Time and details. The city's consultant, the Tampa office of Wade Trim made the projections several years ago. Since then, the price of concrete has gone up. Structural testing must also be conducted on the pilings, which wasn’t factored in. And money will be needed to get the equipment – most of it on barges – to the site.

By the way, that $11-million boat slip project. That went over by $2-million.

- Mike Donila, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:28am]


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