LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Lakewood Ranch Stewardship District accepted a $11,421,604 bid Friday from Woodruff & Sons Inc. of Bradenton to extend and widen about 2.23 miles of Lorraine Road from University Parkway south to the southern border of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch property in Sarasota County.
The roadwork is an integral part of the new 2,000-acre Waterside project, previously referred to as the Villages of Lakewood Ranch South.
The roadwork includes a 24-inch water line to serve thousands of future residents who will call Waterside home.
In a second phase of the project, yet to be awarded, Lorraine Road will be extended
to Fruitville Road.
Woodruff submitted the low bid of three received.
Also submitting bids were MacKenzie of Florida Inc. of Bradenton, and QGS Development Inc. of Lithia
The award to Woodruff & Sons came in under the $13 million budget and gets the project off to a good start, said district engineer Mike Kennedy.
As soon as permits are pulled within the next few weeks, a notice to proceed should be given to Woodruff, Kennedy said.
In a related road project, bids were received this week for extending and four-laning Deer Drive. A contract award is expected to be made when the Stewardship District continues its meeting at 9 a.m. Feb. 26.
Tony Chiofalo, who subbed Friday for district Chairman Rex Jensen, expressed satisfaction at the pace of the bid process. "We want to keep the project moving," he said.
The extensions of Lorraine Road, Deer Drive, and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard are being tackled in five phases with the last bids expected to be opened by June.
The Lakewood Ranch Stewardship District was created by an act of the Florida Legislature to provide a funding mechanism for infrastructure in 23,000 acres of undeveloped SMR property in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Waterside is SMR's first major project in Sarasota County.
Mark A. Foster, senior survey crew chief for Stantec, was surveying and staking Lorraine Road in preparation Friday for the work to come.
Homes by Towne will be building in the area served by the new Lorraine Road extension, said Richard Bedford, SMR vice president of planning. The other announced builder in Waterside is Pulte.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter @jajones1.