Update on restoring waterfront Lake Wyman and Rutherford parks

A pavilion with beach access on the Intracoastal. A fishing pier. Restored kayak, canoe and paddleboard trails with two launches.

The city’s revised Lake Wyman and Rutherford Park restoration is on the verge of permitting, after residents rejected the original plan nearly a decade ago.

“Once we started, the revised plan went smoothly and moved at a nice speed. It takes time for permitting,” said coastal program manager Jennifer Bistyga. “Since December, we received the DEP permit and we should have the Army Corps [of Engineers] permit by early summer.” she said about Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Once the second permit comes through and city council gets another look, construction can go out to bid, Bistyga said.

“We hope to go out to bid in late winter 2020 early 2021. If we have good successful bidders, construction can start in the spring of 2021 and the entire thing will take a year to complete,” she said. Construction costs so far are about $4 million.

“When the final project was presented to the Parks and Recreation Board, they approved it,” she said. That was after residents were asked for their opinions at charettes by Applied Technology and Management. Here’s what the final plan looks like:

Council is moving things along. On Tuesday, the city authorized a work order for ATM to develop plans and specifications, bidding assistance, construction administration and post-construction certification.

Funding is more complicated. The city also authorized a grant request for phase II for an agency known as F.I.N.D. The city leases  some of their property. “We are asking for just over $2 million,” Bistyga said.

That presentation in set for July. But other projects will be vying for funding, too, she said. “We hope we enter into an agreement with them in October or November if we qualify.” The city already had F.I.N.D. funding for engineering, permitting and design work, so she’s hopeful.

The design also includes restoring and extending the rest of the boardwalk. Constructing an additional bathroom and a walking path along part of the property.

“This will be nice enhancements without changing the beauty of it all. Keeping old Florida alive, she said.

By Marci Shatzman


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