Clewiston commission has special meeting on bridge

CLEWISTON — The city turned around on a dime last week after commissioners fired their lead engineering firm earlier in April, and set up alternative arrangements for design of the new C-21 bridge to the Herbert Hoover Dike.

Those were set to be considered at a special meeting of the city commissioners called for Monday evening, April 29.

On the agenda were three resolutions: one, to hire the Wantman Group Inc. (WGI) to conduct structural engineering services for the C-21 Bridge Project, under a contract that would cost $139,000; a second to approve the work order from Johnson Engineering Inc. for technical services for the C-21 Bridge Project, at an estimated contract cost of $171,500; and a third, to approve a wireless services agreement with Harris Corp. for a license to access the voice communication portion of the wireless network.

The staff reports explained the details of each as follows:

WGI contract
This is for preliminary planning, site selection and final design of a new bridge crossing the C-21 Canal. Planning and site selection will address any land issues including zoning, ownership, public interests, environmental assessment, and compliance with Hendry County Comprehensive Plan and plans for the City of Clewiston was well as permitting with local, state and federal agencies.

The bridge itself will be an approximately 105-foot clear span bridge. The proposed bridge will accommodate two 12-foot travel lanes, a single 6-foot minimum sidewalk and the bridge barrier walls, said the proposal received from Brian C. Rheault, WGI vice president for structural solutions.

Johnson Engineering
Its technical services will be: plan production, to be completed within 60 days of notice to proceed; environmental resource permit, 240 days; the SFWMD (South Florida Water Management District) R/W or WOTD permit, 240 days; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Nationwide 14 permitting, 600 days; and the USACE Section 408 compliance permitting, 600 days.

The last contract, with Harris Corp., is needed for access to the SLERS Wireless Communications System, for the Clewiston Police Department to upgrade the current communications system status and ultimately achieve interoperability with other public safety departments.

This will cost the city $14 per month per radio on the system, of which there are estimated to be 40 when the department completes its move to its new station on Berner Road. That’s a total of $6,720 a year, and the contract runs for nearly two years, from May 1 through June 30, 2021.

City officials asked that the company take out several parts of the contract as delineated by City Attorney Gary Brandenburg that don’t apply, and Les Partington, replying for the company, wrote on April 25 that it might take four months for them to modify the agreement.

Chris Felker can be reached at

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