SEBASTIAN — The more than $2 million improvement project for Barber Street in Sebastian could cost the county nearly $106,000 — and whether or not that money might be reimbursed remains unclear.
The project consists of rebuilding sections of the road, repaving others, and improving drainage along a 2 3/4-mile stretch from County Road 512 to Schumann Drive and will require the county’s utilities department to relocate a 12-inch water main. County Utilities Director Erik Olson asked commissioners Tuesday to approve the funds for relocating the main — a cost of $105,970 — and ask the Florida Department of Transportation for reimbursement.
The transportation department received federal stimulus funds to work on shovel-ready projects such as Barber Street.
Betsy Jeffers, an FDOT engineer, said the department expects to find out which contractor was the lowest bidder Wednesday. The lowest bidder might not be the one hired, though, she said.
The transportation department expects to announce the bid winner in the coming weeks, after taking time to review the bids and the various options the bidders submitted.
Jeffers explained the bidders had to respond to the basic project and then offer what they would do for the optional work, including improvements to drainage and swales, extending sidewalks and fixing up culvert crossings.
Currently, the project’s construction is still on track to get underway in January and wrap up within a year later, according to Jeffers.
Approximately 8,600 vehicles travel the 35 mph roadway on a daily basis, according to numbers provided by the Florida Department of Transportation.
The project will be broken into four phases — the first three will be between CR 512 and Adams Street, the fourth will be from Adams to Schumann.
The first three phases will require detours through residential side streets as construction crews tear up Barber and rebuild the street from the base up.
The last phase will keep one lane open at all times, allowing traffic to alternate passing through the zone as crews repave that section.
Barber Street is one of four FDOT projects in Indian River County funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Other projects include resurfacing County Road 507 from the Fellsmere City limit to the Brevard County line, resurfacing 20th Avenue from Oslo Road to State Road 60 in Vero Beach, and landscaping 58th Avenue from Oslo Road to 16th Street also in Vero Beach.