Simons Road Phase II project could cost city $2.3 million

City dealing with sticker shock over price tag for 700-foot road

As housing construction and the expansion of the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis Center continues along Simons road, the City of Zephyrhills looks to eventually move forward with the construction of Simons Road Phase II between Simons and Fort King Road.

The 700-foot stretch of a new road will include two turning lanes and sits in the city’s Public Works budget for 2021-21 with an astronomical price tag of $2.3 million, just slightly less than the cost of the entire one-mile stretch of Simons Road that was completed in 2019.The city’s contracted engineer provided the city with the hefty construction estimate that comes to roughly $3,285 per foot.

“I about fell out of my chair when I got that engineer’s estimate,” Zephyrhills City Manager Billy Poe said. “The issue is we’re going through wetlands.”

Poe said the project will require several large box culverts so the flow of stormwater moves the same through the area and gravity walls need to be constructed.

According to Poe, the city has pushed the project back to allow Duke Energy to move power poles in the area. Now that the poles are moved, the city ready to move ahead. However, the timing may not be ideal because of high construction material costs.

“From what I understand, the major contributing factor of that cost is the wetlands going through there,” Poe said. “It is absolutely insane. I was thinking a few hundred thousand dollars.”

Poe said the city will go out to bid and the plans are being tweaked in hopes to get a better price.

“I’m hoping the delay will help us get some construction cost savings,” Poe said. “Fingers are crossed. Prayers are being said. It is a big number and I don’t think it was one any of us expected.”

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