LBK Poised to Fast-Track Undergrounding Utilities


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, October 17, 2017 – Five years is the projected timeframe for the completion of the undergrounding of utilities in Longboat Key set to start in 2018. With recent developments though, this major island enhancement could be finished sooner and thus provide some added boost to Longboat Key homes for sale.

A separate project of Florida Power and Light (FPL) undertaken early this year has enabled preliminary work on the town’s utilities undergrounding to proceed ahead of schedule. This FPL undertaking involved drilling and replacement of a primary power transmission cable beneath Longboat Pass and New Pass.

Longboat officials took the opportunity to piggyback on the permits and contractor of the FPL project to set the underwater cable conduits necessary for the island’s utilities undergrounding. Besides helping advance the project’s schedule, this move also contributed in trimming the undergrounding cost which has been initially estimated at $50 million.

Work on Five Phases


Survey work for the Longboat undergrounding was likewise completed earlier than expected, in turn laying the groundwork for the final project cost estimates. Longboat town officials have already decided to implement the undergrounding in five geographic phases.

The first phase is set at the southern end of the island which will proceed from Putter Lane to New Pass. The second stage follows on the northern end of the Key from Longbeach Village to Dream Island Road. The third phase covers the southward stretch from Buttonwood Cove to Country Club Shores, and the fourth from Dream Island to the Zota hotel area where the fifth phase also begins and ends at Buttonwood Cove.

Town officials have assured that there will be minimal community disturbance from the project as horizontal boring equipment will be used and no trenches will be dug. The only diggings will be pits at intervals of 400 feet to facilitate underground pipe connections.

Cables will be installed inside conduits, hence significantly reducing the possibility of cable insulation damage which may result in power outages. Adverse effects of flooding on the buried utilities are unlikely as mostly the cables inside their conduits will be installed below the water table. Switches and connections of the underground cables are also corrosion-resistant and water-sealed.

Irma’s Wake-up Call

Longboat Key

The town is developing a website to provide residents progress reports on the undergrounding. Significantly, public support for this project has grown stronger following the island residents experiencing downed power lines and extended power outages after Hurricane Irma.

Some locals who had doubts on the rationale of burying the island’s utilities and on the huge cost it entails are now all for this initiative sure to further enhance the market value of Longboat Key homes for sale.

Besides providing a more robust protection for the island’s electrical systems, the utilities undergrounding would bring communication upgrades to Longboat. The project calls for more than burying power and communication lines but also the installation of a fiber optic cable system.

This facility will bring to the town 5G Wi-Fi connection, thus setting the island ahead of other communities. Availability of public Wi-Fi, better cellular reception and more efficient emergency communication are some of the added benefits coming once the Longboat utilities undergrounding is completed.