Fort Lauderdale’s Failing Water Infrastructure
Fort Lauderdale residents have had their fair share of water woes. From a burst water main to aging water systems across the city, Fort Lauderdale is in desperate need of an upgrade. But fixing Fort Lauderdale’s water infrastructure will take an incredible amount of funding that city officials would prefer to invest in other aspects of the city. Below, a Fort Lauderdale construction attorney from Cotney Construction Law discusses the current state of Fort Lauderdale’s water infrastructure and what it means for the city’s contractors.
A 50-Year-Old System
As the Sun-Sentinel reports, water and sewer systems across the city are aging and many of its pipes are over 50 years old. There is no better representation of this than the water treatment plant held by “spit and chewing gum” where fixes have been postponed due to high costs. Received bids for repairs came out to $15 million more than what the city had budgeted for. An additional project to map out the city’s water system has a $6 million price tag. Altogether, it will cost an astounding $1.4 billion to repair Fort Lauderdale’s water and wastewater systems.
The City of Fort Lauderdale’s website states, “Even though water surrounds us and runs under and even through our city, it is one of our most limited resources.” Despite this sentiment, city officials are planning to divert close to $10 million from the city’s utility funds to other city services. Since 2012, close to $20 million has been diverted in this manner.
The neglect caused by these diverted funds has resulted in an assortment of problems for the city over the course of the last year, including 15 unauthorized sewage discharges, 600,000 gallons of spilled sewage, and incurred penalties from the state. This situation was marked by a July water main break that affected about 220,000 Fort Lauderdale residents.
What This Means for Fort Lauderdale Contractors
Regardless of the pace at which repairs are being implemented, it’s clear that there will be work for Fort Lauderdale construction companies for quite some time. As of last year, the city has approved borrowing $200 million to fix the aging sewer system. Construction companies should keep an eye out on the city’s current bids. For assistance with navigating the bid process, consult a Fort Lauderdale construction attorney from Cotney Construction Law.
Fort Lauderdale’s water systems are crucial for residents that rely on them for drinking water and sanitation. The city needs to invest and put its faith in the hard-working contractors that call Fort Lauderdale home. For a legal partner that believes in this industry and everything it can do for our communities, contact the Fort Lauderdale construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law.