Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando not ready to say channel dredging project is finished

HERNANDO BEACH — In the 17 years the Hernando Beach Channel dredging project has been in the making, there have been plenty of missed deadlines.

Friday, which was to be the deadline for project completion, became another.

While contractor BCPeabody has asked for the final payment on the work, approximately $420,000 of the $8.7 million project, the county says the company hasn't finished the job.

"Basically, they're not done,'' said Susan Goebel-Canning, who has been the county's dredge project manager.

Work crews from BCPeabody will be back out working Monday to finish patching, sodding and other restoration work in the area of Calienta Street and the parking area at the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The actual work dredging the channel has been done for several weeks, and the equipment has been removed from the scene. The contractor has been working on other cleanup and repair tasks since then, including rebuilding the seawall at the off-load site for the dredge.

BCPeabody's Robert Carpenter said Friday that the work was "99.999 percent done.''

The hold up of a couple of days, he said, is because "we're waiting for the concrete to cure.''

The work to restore the parking lots and sodded lots near that off-load site could not be done until concrete trucks were finished with their work, and that's why those finishing touches are still under way, Carpenter said.

BCPeabody has turned in drawings and other information that the firm is required to submit to the Department of Environmental Protection at the end of the dredge.

County officials will also be meeting Monday to discuss the status of the project and the contractor's request to be paid, Goebel-Canning said.

While she will update the County Commission on the dredging project at Tuesday's regular meeting, there will be no action item for commissioners to consider. BCPeabody will have to be completely finished with the work by Tuesday to make it onto the April 10 agenda, she said.

The final payment for the project requires commissioners' approval.

The other outstanding issue on the dredging project and whether the payment is made concerns the dozen or so property owners who have reported damage to their boats, docks and seawalls from the dredging operation. In some cases, BCPeabody and its dredging subcontractor, Konga Marine Logistics, simply paid for repairs or fixed the problems themselves.

But many claims went beyond what the contractor thought was owed, and those have been referred to the insurance companies representing BCPeabody and Konga.

Even though she and her husband had made their claims for damages months ago, Betty Watkins is still fighting for a resolution. Friday morning, she said, she was sending off volumes of information in the form of videos, pictures and paperwork to two different insurance companies to get reimbursement for the damage.

Watkins said that the insurance representatives told her they would have preferred the dredging subcontractor to file claims as it got them and not at the end of the work and also that they were still trying to get a handle on the scope of the problems.

"They don't even have their arms around it yet,'' Watkins said.

Goebel-Canning said some of those damage claims are still outstanding and must be resolved before the county can release BCPeabody's final payment.

Russell Wetherington, the county's chief procurement officer, said that once the claims are filed and working through the various insurance carriers, the county's responsibility is complete.

Carpenter said he would rather focus on the fact that the project came in at the price of the original bid and that boaters have had full use of the longer, wider and deeper canal for months instead of on Friday's missed deadline.

He said BCPeabody was as anxious as anyone to get the work done and leave the delays behind.

"None of this is good as far as we're concerned,'' he said. "We can't get paid.''

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando not ready to say channel dredging project is finished 03/23/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 23, 2012 9:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hernando teacher faces sexual battery charges


    BROOKSVILLE — Deputies arrested a teacher on charges of sexual battery Tuesday, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

  2. Drought forces tougher watering restrictions on Tampa Bay


    Homeowners in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will be limited to watering their lawns only once a week under new, tighter watering restrictions imposed Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

    A fallen pine tree burns and smolders in a section of pine flatwoods earlier this month in the Starkey Wilderness Preserve in Pasco County. Drought conditions have helped spark wildfires across the state. Now homeowners in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will face tighter watering restrictions imposed Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  3. Sharing extreme views, neo-Nazis sometimes convert to radical Islam


    It sounds like an unlikely leap of faith: a neo-Nazi converting to Islamic extremism.

    Devon Arthurs, 18, told police  he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with his roommates, Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, until he converted to Islam, according to a police report .
[Tampa Police]
  4. Target Corp. reaches $18.5 million settlement with 47 states over data breach


    Target Corp. has agreed to pay Florida $928,963 out of a newly-announced $18.5 million settlement over a huge data breach that occurred in late 2013.

    Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have reached an $18.5 million settlement with Target Corp. to resolve the states' probe into the discounter's massive pre-Christmas data breach in 2013. 
[Associated Press]
  5. Bomb experts say materials at Tampa Palms murder scene were meant to kill


    TAMPA — Easily obtainable chemicals and equipment that investigators found at the scene of a double murder in Tampa Palms were assembled for one purpose, according to explosives experts: To create an improvised explosive device that could kill people and destroy property.

    Authorities search a vehicle late Sunday in Key Largo after arresting Brandon Russell of Tampa, who is not pictured. Russell faces federal explosives charges after Tampa police investigating a double homicide found bomb materials in his Tampa Palms apartment. [Photo courtesy of Kevin Wadlow,]