Longboat Key, Florida | October 10th, 2017 – There’s more to expect from the undergrounding of power cables and other utilities on Longboat Key, it turns out, as plans for this project get finalized. It will not only enhance the aesthetics of town’s streetscape and bring a permanent solution to downed power lines, which was among the major problems during Hurricane Irma in September 2017.
Part of the utilities’ undergrounding call for the installation of a fiber optic backbone system island-wide. Once installed, the system will provide Longboater Key residents with 5G Wi-Fi connection which should help set the island apart from other upscale communities. Besides public Wi-Fi, we’ll see a number of communication upgrades in town, such as improved cellular reception and emergency communication, according to town staff.
Project Roll-out Set
Another good news is that we could expect work on the undergrounding and the fiber optics project to start very soon. Town officials are aiming to begin the island-wide project to bury Longboat Key’s fiber optic and power cables by end-2018, a target which looks quite doable with the recent progress in the undergrounding plans for these utilities.
With survey work already complete, costing estimate for the project is being finalized including the undergrounding components for fiber and cable systems as well as project permitting and legal fees. A website is also under development so that residents could be updated on the project’s progress.
This project, town staff said, would benefit from the drilling that Florida Power and Light (FPL) plans beneath Longboat Pass and New Pass to replace a primary power-transmission cable. They noted that Longboat Key could piggyback on the permits and contractor of this FPL project to run a conduit for fiber optic cables through the passes and in so doing, help reduce the cost of the utilities undergrounding and fiber optic installation.
Minimal Town Disturbance
What’s also great, work on undergrounding the utilities poses minimal disturbance to the community as there will be no digging of trenches. Horizontal boring equipment shall be used to install the facilities. FPL will also install cables inside conduits that significantly reduces the possibility of cable insulation piercing due to contact with hard objects which could cause power outages.
Generally, pits at 400-foot intervals would be the only diggings to facilitate connections of the underground pipes. These pits are typically dug manually so as to minimize disturbance on the landscaping of nearby properties.
Connections and switches of the installed utilities in the pits are also water-sealed and corrosion-resistant. The underground cables are mostly installed below the water table, so flooding won’t affect the underground utilities at all.
The Longboat Key undergrounding project is projected to be completed in five years. It has been divided into five geographic phases, with the first and second stages respectively set on the southern and northern end of the island.
The first phase runs from Putter Lane south to New Pass, while the second phase begins from the Longbeach Village up north to Dream Island Road. You can be sure that our Judy Kepecz-Hays Team shall continue monitoring progress on this undergrounding project. We can help you prepare and make any necessary adjustments in showings and tours, especially if you’re selling a residence near the public works of the undergrounding project.