Tetra Tech is helping Fort Myers Beach, Florida, bring its water infrastructure into compliance to support its residents and tourist economy. Fort Myers Beach is located on a barrier island in Lee County in southwest Florida, approximately 13 miles south of Fort Myers. It is situated on Estero Island in the Gulf of Mexico and has a total area of 6.2 square miles—2.9 square miles of land and 3.3 square miles of water. Since its incorporation in 1995, Fort Myers Beach has developed into an island community consisting of full- and part-time residents and is recognized as a popular tourist destination.

Due to its age and size, the town’s existing water infrastructure was found to be noncompliant with standards and required upgrades to the facilities to be deemed adequate. Tetra Tech was selected to provide design and construction services to replace more than 90,000 linear feet of water main piping and 30,000 linear feet of stormwater piping and infrastructure, and to redesign the town’s Times Square tourist hub on an accelerated schedule.

Tetra Tech’s engineers and inspectors have been amazing for the Town and its residents. We would not be this far along in the project while still being able to meet the Town’s high quality of standards without them.

Scott Baker, Public Works Director, Town of Fort Myers Beach

The town’s existing water infrastructure is a mixture of different materials from different time periods dating back to the 1950s. The old potable water mains are reaching the end of their life expectancy and are unable to provide the required fire flows to the south end of the island, resulting in multiple water main breaks every week. In addition, the town has no way of repairing the existing lines without shutting down a large part of the island.

The new, interconnected water system will be more reliable, with appropriate valving, thick wall PVC pipe, and the capacity to handle existing and future demand while maintaining acceptable pressure. In the design, Tetra Tech also addressed the town’s concern of being able to supply enough water pressure to ensure the safety of all residents.

Due to the tight and overcrowded right-of-way on the island, Tetra Tech designed a parallel transmission and distribution water main system, using a series of interconnects and innovative solutions to install the new water main services. This innovative solution maintained service to the town during construction and worked around Lee County’s ongoing roadway project. That project includes adding sidewalks on both sides of the road, trolley stops, drainage improvements on and connection to town drainage projects, and relocation of existing utilities including power poles, telephone and cable lines, and sewer force mains.

Tetra Tech completed design and construction services of the first 11,000 linear feet of water main in 13 months; the entire project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2020.