Disruptions Persist from FPL Hardening Project

Florida Power & Light continues with a “hardening” project in Keystone intended to upgrade and modernize their power grid. The problem for neighbors is that the work has caused incredible headaches. The biggest one lately was their contractors interfering with water lines, causing several Keystone homes to lose water service. City administrators and I have been working hard for the last several hours trying to get a handle on what’s going on and how we will prevent further issues. I first reported on the project in August 2021. If you haven’t yet read that story, please see my separate article from August 2021 for a quick refresher. I’ve communicated a lot today with FPL so here is the latest: What’s Going On? FPL began the project in late Summer. They are installing new, larger power poles along North Bayshore Drive. FPL says the poles are necessary to modernize their power grid and provide better service during storms. Click here for a map of where all the poles will eventually be located. There are two phases to the project, both happening simultaneously. One is “boring,” where machines dig holes into the ground for the poles. The other is “hardening” which is the term for the placement of the new poles and wires. How much longer will this go on? FPL tells me today that the work will be completed in three weeks. Why Was Water Cut Off to Our Area? While “boring,” FPL contractors caused vibrations which cracked water pipes. They’ve done this twice. Once was last night (Thursday). City crews worked till 11 pm to fix things. But then it happened again today (Friday) in a different area. As of 4:00 pm today, the city has repaired the leak. To prevent future occurrences, the City will have a Water & Sewer employee walk the project with the project manager and contractor to advise them on where to dig to avoid future breaks Do I Need to Boil Water? If your water was out yesterday, Thursday, January 20th, you do not need to boil water. If your water was out today, Friday, January 21st, YOU WILL NEED TO BOIL YOUR WATER. I’ll send that detail out tonight as soon as I have it. Who’s Going to Pay for all this Work? By law, FPL must pay for all repairs, including work on the water lines. The city will be submitting invoices to them. Will FPL Fix Damages on Private Property? Yes. In three weeks, when the main project is finished, FPL will circle back to repair any damages to sod, sidewalks, driveways, or anything else that was damaged. I suggest you take photos now. When the time comes, I’ll work with you to assure your damage is repaired. Where Will FPL be Working Next? I am meeting with FPL and city staff this coming Monday to get some sort of map/chart that shows which spots will be worked on each day until the project is finished. Traffic Has Been Disrupted, Too. As of today, FPL has agreed to hire a North Miami off-duty police officer to assist with traffic management wherever work is on-going. Currently there is one lane closure with four flagmen. FPL will pay those costs. ADA Compliance on Sidewalks is Lacking. FPL had staff on-site today to address sidewalk and ADA issues. All areas not in compliance will be fixed. I apologize if I’ve overlooked any questions you have. If I did, send me an email and I’ll work to get it addressed on Monday. Thanks to all of you who have reached out to me on this.