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Underground work completed on new Lift Station 87

Post Date:08/29/2019 9:35 AM

Contact:  Michelle Robinson, Community Outreach   727-580-9013                       

Sarasota, FL:  The most challenging and difficult part of the new Lift Station structure is complete. For more than a year, crews have been working some 50 feet underground constructing the concrete wetwell at the Lift Station 87 site in Luke Wood Park. Progress has been hidden from view, but that will soon change. Construction of the two-story brick lift station building, overtop the wetwell, will begin within the next couple weeks. When complete, the new lift station will handle a third of the City’s wastewater flow, and the new design ensures reliable and effective operations, even during a Category 3 hurricane.

“We’ve spent the past year constructing the equivalent of a five-story building underground and below sea level,” said Sarasota Utility Director Bill Riebe. “Construction of the wetwell andLift Station 87, utilities the connection of new, micro-tunneled 36-inch gravity sewer to the wetwell piping has been technically complex.”

Crews had to excavate and demolish the old lift station structure before they could begin building the new, 50-foot-deep wetwell. “Although we’re extremely pleased the wetwell structure and gravity sewer connection are complete, it took a little longer than anticipated.” said Riebe. “The lift station structure is on budget but is about 75 days behind schedule. The City’s contractor is working hard to recover some of this time. At this point, completion of the entire project is anticipated by the end of March 2021, including the removal of the existing Lift Station 7 structure and conversion of the area to a neighborhood park.” 

The contractor’s updated schedule shows that Osprey Avenue from just north of the Hudson Bayou to Alta Vista will be closed starting in early summer of 2020. This closure will last approximately eight months while crews excavate and install gravity sewer mains along Alta Vista, Pomelo Avenue and Pomelo Place. To maintain safe traffic flow during construction, the contractor will direct traffic to Mound Street/US 41 to avoid neighborhoods, use temporary speed bumps to deter traffic from taking shortcuts through neighborhoods, and clearly identify business access on Osprey Avenue.

Lift Station 87 will replace Lift Station 7, located at 935 Pomelo Avenue. The project is being built in phases to protect the city’s investment. Phase 1 (Microtunnels under Hudson Bayou, Osprey Avenue and Luke Wood Park) was successfully completed in June 2017. Phase 2 (Lift station 87 wetwell, building and site landscaping) is scheduled for final completion in early fall 2020.  Phase 3 (Open cut gravity sewer pipeline construction south of Hudson Bayou and demolition of Lift Station 7), is scheduled to begin in summer 2020 with completion anticipated early in 2021. Once the entire project is completed, wastewater flow will be completely and permanently redirected from Lift Station 7 to Lift Station 87.

For more information about the Lift Station 87 project, go to or call our project information line at 941-356-8071.  Interested parties can also subscribe to email updates at Also, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram -- search “City of Sarasota”.

Media requests should be directed to Michelle Robinson, Dialogue Public Relations:  727-580-9013 or

About the City of Sarasota:  Distinguished by U.S. News and World Report as the 18th Best Place to Live in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 55,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles.  Learn more about us at www.SarasotaFL.Gov

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