SEMINOLE HEIGHTS, Fla — People who live and drive through Seminole Heights have to navigate through construction on some of the main roads. The construction is part of the city’s effort to mitigate flooding.
“Typically in Florida, the rains come down fast, they come down hard, and within 30 minutes the water is receded and it’s safe to drive again,” said William Stock, with Nelson Construction.
Even still — the City of Tampa decided it was time to do something about it — last fall the $39 million construction project began to replace old pipes with new ones and build a new stormwater conveyance system.
“This storm pipe that you see right here is one o the pipes we’re installing to get that water away from homes and businesses and down to the Hillsborough River,” Stock said.
That 72-inch stormwater pipe can carry more than 60 million gallons of stormwater at a time.
So, when will the construction wrap up? Let’s start at North River boulevard and Crest Avenue, where work has been going on for months. The city said crews should begin pouring asphalt at that intersection Friday, June 17.
Moving east on Crest over to Highland, crews will begin to install a stormwater box culvert on June 20. Highland will be closed for two weeks and detour signs will be placed.
Central Avenue, north of Hillsborough will see construction beginning in the next two weeks, and south of Hillsborough, a second project on Central Avenue in front of Hillsborough High should wrap up by the end of this year.
Safety improvements include a crosswalk at Wilder with curb extensions, pavement markings, and flashing beacons, a dedicated northbound and southbound bicycle lane, a dedicated pick up and drop-off lane for high school students on the west side of Central Avenue, and on-street parking in front of homes.
The stormwater project is expected to be completely finished in the fall of 2024.