TREASURE ISLAND — Work will begin Dec. 9 on a nearly half-million-dollar drainage improvement project at Sunset Beach.
Treasure Island public works director Jim Murphy, along with the contractor and engineer of the 77th Avenue project, will meet with local residents at 3 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall to give a preview of the 6-month renovation.
A $450,000 bid was accepted last year for the work, jointly funded by the city and the Southwest Florida Water Management District but utility issues caused delays.
The project — expected to be completed in June — will improve drainage and water quality by installing new outfall pipes and rainwater collection devices along Bayshore Drive from 77th Avenue north to 79th Terrace, Murphy said.
"That area floods now, the piping in there is substandard and gets plugged up with sand," he said. With the extension of outfall pipes and improved materials, Murphy said residents should see less standing water.
"It will definitely improve the collection capacity at the intersection of 77th Avenue and Bayshore Drive," he said.
Work will start at the 77th Avenue and Bayshore Drive intersection and run north for less than a fifth of a mile to 79th Terrace. The pavement will be ripped up to make the improvements and Murphy said the contractor is working to ensure residents have access to their homes.
"It will be difficult, working around everything and utilities being moved around," he said. "The contractor will make sure people have access to their property. That will be the toughest part, doing the work and keeping the access open."
Murphy said stalling the project until the less-rainy winter season hopefully will help.
''We hope we don't get a lot of rain, that could make excavation hard," he said.
The project also is expected to improve the quality of the water discharged into the gulf by filtering it through collection devices, said Commissioner Alan Bildz.
"This will be a construction nightmare so we'll need to finish it as soon as possible," he said.