JEA’s Riverside project launches January 2013

Water main work promises construction crews for Riverside Avenue

By Susanna P. Barton
Resident Community News

JEA is gearing up for one of its biggest neighborhood undertakings. Set to begin in early January, the Riverside Avenue Water Main Improvement Project will bring better water pressure to many homes and businesses and includes the replacement of deteriorating pipes. But along with the improvement comes potential headaches, as local commuters brace for detours and traffic snafus — and local businesses gear up for planned water outages.
JEA Project Outreach Coordinator Greg Corcoran said a community meeting would be held prior to the January constructions start date. The community will be notified at least two weeks prior to the meeting, he said.
The work involves replacement of 6-inch pipes with 8-inch pipes in some areas and exchange 8-inch pipes in other sections along Riverside Avenue between San Juan and Edison avenues. The pipes will be replaced through a process called “pipe bursting,” which was implemented during the Avondale Town Center utilities work two years ago. The replacement occurs in sections and does not require digging up the entire street. JEA intends to tackle the project in short block increments, so road detours will be abbreviated and ever changing throughout the project.
JEA officials are doing what they can to minimize traffic and logistical issues for Riverside/Avondale businesses, commuters and residents. The early January start time is part of that planning — JEA wanted to ensure easy access to the Shoppes of Avondale and other nearby shopping areas during the vendors’ biggest selling season. Representatives from JEA have been meeting with officials at St. Vincent’s Hospital Riverside and nearby business owners for the past few months to work out specific details.
“Our engineers have been meeting over the past few months with St. Vincent’s to determine the best way to set up a temporary bypass line to serve the hospital,” Corcoran share. “We have also been determining the (water) needs of many of the businesses along the project route. There may be cases where it is better to schedule some water outages during the day while others in the evenings when possible.”
Upfront planning needs have pushed the project design out a few months, he said. The project is expected to be complete in September 2013. JEA has begun advertising the project and expects to award bids to contractors in December.

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