Trucks trundle past loaded to the brim with fill, and construction vehicles emit a constant “beep, beep, beep” in reverse. It seems all of Marathon is under construction right now. Here’s an update on four major projects.
MARATHON HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC FIELD
This project is slated to be done by August, according to the Monroe County School District’s Doug Pryor. Phase one is complete, and phase two is underway of a $12 million plan to create a full-size track around a football field, new concession stands, re-figuring of the ball fields and extra parking.
“Right now we’re bring in clean fill from Plantation Key School to raise part of the property to help with flooding,” Pryor said. He said the roofing is going on the concession stand and the light poles and scoreboard structures are also going up. The irrigation is in and the football field sod will be placed beginning this week.
Pryor said the old bleachers were moved and set up next to the track as a precautionary measure in case the vendor wasn’t available to provide the seats in time. He said the vendor confirmed this week the new bleachers would arrive in mid-July.
AQUEDUCT AUTHORITY WORK ON SOMBRERO ROAD & BOUELVARD
Unfortunately, the traffic delays will continue along Sombrero Beach Road and Sombrero Beach Boulevard as the water utility continues to replace aging infrastructure. The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority estimates the project will be complete in August.
“Once the pipe is in, we have to transition between the old pipe to the new pipe,” said FKAA spokesperson Julie Cheon, adding that there will be an extended period of testing for pressurization and health standards. “At one point, customers will see water dripping out of some flexible PVC tubing, and that’s intentional. There will also be planned interruptions of water service for people in those neighborhoods. We will keep our customers informed.”
Some temporary paving will begin on May 2, as well. The project is estimated to cost $1.8 million.
SOMBRERO BEACH RESTORATION
In about a month, the east side of Sombrero Beach will be complete — restored pavilions, new utilities, grass planted — and then the action will move to the west side of the beach.
“We will be making the switch over in the first week of June. The east side will be open, and west side closed,” said Carlos Solis, Marathon’s director of Public Works. Although parts of the park are closed, the beach along the water is accessible except for short-term stretches as required by construction.
Work will pause for the 4th of July, and then resume. In addition to the restoration, the city also tends to add a low wall around the beach to keep sand from moving onto the roadway during storms.
“The contractor is moving at a quick pace,” Solis said. “So we anticipate the project will be finished sometime in August or September.” The project is estimated to cost $1.5 million.
STANLEY SWITLIK CONSTRUCTION
“We’re moving pretty rapidly on this,” said Pryor, the school district’s construction manager. “Both buildings are up, the roofs are being ‘dryed’ in. Framing has started in the administrative building.”
The district expects the project to be mostly complete in November or December. After the Christmas break, students will move into the new building, and renovations — new ceilings and floors — will begin on the remaining classroom building and cafeteria. That phase will also include work on the transportation facility on 35th Street and work on the ball fields. The temporary campus will be dismantled in January and returned to the lessor. The project is estimated to cost $23 million.