Frisco approves upward of $3 million in marina improvements for this summer
The Frisco Bay Marina is getting some major upgrades this year.
The Frisco Town Council signed off on three contracts to move forward with significant construction and design work at the Frisco Bay Marina this summer, marking a considerable step toward the eventual completion of the town’s 2018 Marina Master Plan.
The plan’s implementation kicked off in earnest with the “Big Dig,” a 2019 excavation of dirt from the reservoir’s lake bed meant to improve boat navigation at the marina and lengthen the boating season. With increased visitation at the marina over the past two years, town officials decided to press forward with more capital improvements at the site.
During the Town Council meeting Tuesday afternoon, officials awarded contracts to begin work on a trio of new projects, beginning with the construction of the marina’s new sewage lift station and deep utilities project. The project, contracted to BT Construction, will replace the existing 30-year-old facilities currently being used at the marina, install water and sewer services to a new office building and provide for increased capacity for future projects outlined in the plan.
The underground work will help to support the construction of the new office building on-site. Saunders Heath Construction signed on for the build, a 2,571-square-foot facility meant to provide more space for customer service and retail opportunities. With the addition of photovoltaic panels, the building also should be more energy efficient than the current facility.
The Town Council also approved a contract with Kubat Equipment and Service Co. for the design and construction of a new fuel system. The marina currently doesn’t have a working fuel system, and its construction could eventually serve as another revenue stream once the town is able to sell fuel to visitors. The system should also increase the efficiency at which marina staff can prepare rental boats for use.
In total, the three projects represent a combined investment of more than $3.1 million at the marina.
“Now we will really get to work,” Public Works Director Jeff Goble said about the approvals.
In addition to the planned upgrades, the Town Council approved a number of smaller improvements meant to address parking, circulation and access at the marina, all issues identified in a recent operational performance audit by F3 Marina, a consulting service. At the meeting Tuesday, Andrew Vidor, director of planning with Walker Consultants, provided a presentation on the current conditions at the park, along with short- and long-term recommendations for implementing changes.
“We’ve heard time and time again that the continued redevelopment and success of the services and the offerings at the marina and park — and the increased desire for the great outdoors — has created great strain on the marina,” Vidor said. “We look at that as an opportunity and not as a great challenge, or a challenge we can’t solve. …
“This plan was developed and is intended to provide implementable strategies, actionable items and impacts to reduce traffic congestion, to improve pedestrian access, improve safety.”
Among the immediate improvements proposed for this year, Vidor recommended creating a three-way stop at the Marina Road trail crossing using the addition of stop signs, along with trimming of vegetation around the road, which would help to increase pedestrian safety and access. He also recommended the creation of more consistent and legible signage and wayfinding at the marina, and the formalization of the parking at the “fruit stand” lot just off Summit Boulevard.
Vidor also made longer-term recommendations that could be implemented in 2022 or beyond, including the creation of better pedestrian connections from Main Street to the planned Great Lawn, looking into paid or reserved parking at the marina and the development of a shuttle program for peak visitation periods, among others.
Council members largely approved of the short-term improvements and promised to address the others during the budgeting process over the coming years.
“From the short-term perspective, I think there are some real simple fixes. I think we should say to staff, ‘If you can get it done, get it done,’” council member Andrew Aerenson said. “The longer-term things we can have conversations about in the future, but again, this is now our blueprint for making the marina a better parking situation.”
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