Water Main upgrade work begins on busy Historic District streets

JEA goes to great lengths to communicate construction plans

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

A 2.3 mile stretch of St. Johns and Riverside avenues, including the King Street dog-leg, will soon be the site of an eight-month construction project to replace and upgrade Potable Water mains, according to the JEA. While 2.3 miles is just a drop in the more than 4,200-mile bucket of water lines managed by the JEA, this particular stretch of road is a busy link to Downtown and could slow traffic from time to time.

The $3.8 million project will be done by Murphy Pipeline, a contractor working for JEA, along St. Johns Avenue from Avondale Circle to King Street, King Street from St. Johns Avenue to Riverside Avenue, and Riverside Avenue from King Street to Edison Street.

This project, anticipated to begin Mar. 4, will provide better reliability and water pressure to the surrounding area, according to Gregory Corcoran, JEA Project Outreach Coordinator. At this time it is not known at which end the project will begin. Asphalt within the project limits will be milled and resurfaced (curb to curb) following the pipe installation, and managed by JEA for Florida DOT.

JEA plans to close and detour only a few blocks at a time along the project route, and the contractor will have specific work hour restrictions to limit construction during high traffic periods. According to information shared at the meeting, daytime hours of operation will be Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Avondale Circle to Powell Place, Osceola to May, Lancaster Street to Post Street. Nighttime and Sunday hours will occur on Powell Place to Osceola Street Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and Sundays from 4 p.m. to midnight leading to Monday at 5 a.m. Night operation on May Street to Lancaster Street and Riverside Park to Peninsular Avenue will be Sunday through Thursday 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. only. Daytime operation on Mondays only will occur from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, and Post Street to Riverside Park.
“The new water line will be replaced using the pipe bursting installation method which substantially decreases construction duration and is less disruptive to the community,” said Corcoran. “This type of installation requires very little excavation work and will be similar to the “pilot” pipe bursting water project which the same contractor completed near The Shoppes of Avondale in 2010.”

Once pipe bursting operations are underway, it may be necessary for the contractor to work extended hours until the work is complete. During construction, JEA customers will experience minor interruptions to their water service and will be notified 24-48 hours prior to any planned outages. Residents and businesses along the construction route may also experience a brief (10 to 15 minutes) outage while crews transfer buildings from the old water service to the new water service. The contractor will be required to work some evenings and weekends to accommodate local medical offices and businesses along the project corridor or in specific areas that have been identified as unsafe for workers during high traffic periods.
Restoration of the project area will begin after the new Water Main has been installed, tested and cleared for use. Upon completion of the project, any existing pavement, grass, curb, gutter, driveways or sidewalks affected during construction will be returned to its pre-construction condition.

Last month The Resident News reported about a drainage improvement project in front of a home on the S-curve of St. Johns Avenue that was scheduled to be completed by the end of February. As anticipated, stretches of rainy weather have slowed down this project, which is unrelated to the JEA Water Main Improvement Project.

The JEA notified area residents of the water main improvement project through a variety of methods: by mailing to 1,900 homes and businesses in an area from Oak Street to the St. Johns River between Challen Avenue and I-95, by posting information on its website, by notifying Riverside/Avondale Preservation (which posted information on its Facebook page), by tweeting about a town meeting and, finally, by holding an open house at the Q-and-A meeting on Feb. 28 at the Kent Campus of Florida State College. In addition, project signage with contact numbers will be posted at the work sites, including a 24-hour hotline number for noise-related issues.

For additional information regarding this and other JEA projects, contact Project Outreach at (904) 665-7500 or email [email protected] For noise-related concerns, contact Murphy Pipeline at (904) 392-6732.

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