Tampa pioneers in-house construction team to tackle soaring costs, expedite critical infrastructure projects

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Florida Construction News staff writer

For the first time in the Tampa Water Department’s history, a construction team has been created to combat soaring construction costs. As the city works to complete critical infrastructure work, the new Engineering Construction Crew is expected to reduce costs and speed up projects.

Since the pandemic, labor and material costs have increased drastically, putting a strain on funding. With the new crew, Tampa will complete a variety of infrastructure work in-house, allowing more oversight on the construction process, and ultimately completing work “at a fraction of what it would cost” to hire a third-party contractor.

The  nine-person team will complete projects from installing water meters to extending water mains. Since 2023, the team has saved more than $400,000 in construction costs.

“The City of Tampa is dedicated to revitalizing our water infrastructure and providing the best possible service to our customers,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “This team will enable us to complete more projects quickly and efficiently, stretching our dollars to the best extent possible.”

In addition to reducing construction costs, the team will also:

  • Help with the affordable housing goal by connecting housing developments to utility services quicker and cheaper.
  • Expedite the completion of construction projects.
  • Give the Tampa Water Department more oversight on specific infrastructure work.

The crew has a combined 90 years of experience in their field, as well as direct experience working on city infrastructure projects.

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