Culvert projects still awaiting start dates

Motorists and pedestrians on two local roads will be detoured for approximately eight weeks during construction on aging culverts in the Fishweir and Lakeside neighborhoods.

Both projects were slated to begin in late January, according to Public Works Department project status reports provided by Tia Ford, public information officer for the City of Jacksonville.

Lakeside bridge replacement

A year after the City of Jacksonville estimated construction on the Lakeside Drive Bridge replacement would begin in early 2016, the four-year-old $700,000 project is still awaiting commencement of construction.

Funding for the project, first initiated in 2013, was appropriated by City Council in May 2015 for a bridge ranked fifth among “most traveled bridges in need of repair” in Northeast Florida, according to a February 2014 report from the Florida Department of Transportation.

The Lakeside Drive Bridge project replaces the existing 50-year-old bridge with a precast box culvert, realigns the roadway to provide a safer travel path by decreasing the turning radius and lowering the elevation. It also improves drainage at the intersection with Wabash Avenue, provides new sidewalks, corrects curbing deficiencies, and coordinates with various utilities to improve their crossing of the drainage outfall, according to an explanation received in August 2015 from the City of Jacksonville’s public communications office.

A project status report dated Nov. 30, 2016 indicated the construction start was expected to be last month, with completion in February. The project replaces the existing structurally deficient bridge with a box culvert that will still be classified as a bridge, according to the report issued by Project Manager Gary Goldsberry.

As of press time, utilities such as water, sewer and overhead utilities attached to the existing structure have yet to be permanently relocated.

Herschel Street culvert replacement

For 25 years, passers-by on Herschel Street have watched the deterioration of a now 85-year-old arched culvert over Little Fishweir Creek, also known as Azalea Creek. The Herschel Street culvert is located between Pinegrove Avenue and Van Wert Avenue.

In 1991 and again in 1998, the City’s Streets and Drainage Department had requested the culvert be replaced at an estimated cost of $250,000. In 2013, the issue was given a project number at a cost of $450,000, and in 2014 was at 90-percent design completion, with funding expected in Fiscal Year 2016-2017.

The project replaces a failing metal pipe-arch culvert with a box culvert. The roadway will be reconstructed, drainage improved, and the decorative parapet railings replaced with a similar design, according to a Nov. 30, 2016 status report. 

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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