Coastline Drive construction project schedule, budget growing

Coastline Drive construction project schedule, budget growing
The Northbank Riverwalk will be rerouted around a basin created from the demolition of a collapsed parking deck which was located south of the old Duval County Courthouse.

Putting the Northbank Riverwalk back together at Coastline Drive and Liberty Street will cost taxpayers another $1 million and push the completion date to next March – but it’s still less costly than what was originally proposed three years ago.

After portions of Liberty Street collapsed into the St. Johns River in 2012 and again in early 2015, original plans called for a $65 million repair of the collapsed roadway. However, in August 2015 former City Council President Greg Anderson proposed a less costly solution, which was subsequently approved and put into the City’s budget.

Anderson’s plan called for rerouting the Northbank Riverwalk around the inlet after the parking deck is demolished.

The area supporting a parking lot behind the old Duval County courthouse began collapsing about three years ago.

Work was initially supposed to begin in October 2015 and the contract awarded to Superior Construction Southeast was $31 million, with a $7.5 million reimbursement from the Florida Department of Transportation. Demolition of Coastline Drive began in February 2017 and is complete; demolition of Liberty Street and the parking deck are underway with expected completion by end of June.

Replacement of the Coastline Bridge from Newnan to Market Streets was originally scheduled to be completed by early 2018, with rebuilt, rerouted elements of the Northbank Riverwalk and Liberty Street Bridge to be completed by this summer.

Last fall, the Waterways Commission recommended the City apply for a Florida Inland Navigation District [FIND] grant to design/permit a marina within the daylighted basin, said Tia Ford, City of Jacksonville spokesperson. City Council approved the final list of 2018 FIND projects which were submitted to the granting agency in March.

“Grant awards are expected to be announced later this year,” she said. “Should the grant be awarded for a marina, the Downtown Investment Authority will be involved in the design to ensure the project is compatible with adjacent redevelopment plans.”

According to a recent change order, the City of Jacksonville is seeking $294,000 for benches, trash cans and light poles; $267,000 for bulkhead repairs where Liberty Street dead ends at the river; $379,000 more on relocation of JEA powerlines, and $159,000 to the contractor, Superior Construction, for re-prepping the construction zones after Hurricane Irma. A design change for Liberty Street will reduce the contract cost by $74,000, bringing the total of the requested change order to $1,025,000.

The City is also in the process of soliciting bids to demolish the old courthouse and former City Hall building.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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