Construction Update – Installing Pipelines; Improving Communications

David Nelson Construction is four months into constructing the Southeast Seminole Heights Flooding Relief Project and has made substantial progress.  To date we have:

  • Set the outfall structure at the Hillsborough River
  • Installed new sanitary sewer lines on the north and south side of Crest Avenue between North River Boulevard and Highland Avenue
  • Installed a new watermain on Crest between N River Blvd and Highland
  • Crossed Highland Avenue with a new sanitary sewer line on the north side of Crest Avenue
  • Installed new water mains on Central Avenue, Ellicott, Louisiana and Giddens
  • Started preparation for the microtunnel operation underneath I-275 at Caracas and Taliaferro

While this is just a fraction of the total project, we have already gained valuable insights that will help us better work with you in coming months. Here are a few concerns that we’ve heard from the community and either have addressed or are addressing:

  • Parents/guardians were parking in front of Hillsborough High School in the “no parking” zones resulting in traffic back-ups and concerns about emergency access. The southbound lane on Central was narrowed to stage construction equipment and an off-duty police officer was hired to ensure parents and guardians understood the new traffic pattern.
  • Dust has been cited by many residents as a problem, particularly in the recent warm, dry weather. David Nelson Construction is hiring an additional water truck driver to help alleviate dust concerns.
  • Residents requested advance notice via door hanger of blocked access to driveways. Construction crews are now distributing door hangers the night before any anticipated driveway impacts. Residents are urged to heed this notice as you may not be able to get in or out of your driveway once construction starts on the following day.
  • Homeowners whose driveway access is blocked will need to temporarily park on the street in front of a nearby home. On-street parking is allowed, and owned, by the City. Please understand that your neighbors need a place to park while their driveway is blocked. If residents need help identifying alternative parking, please see the on-site crew foreman or superintendent.
  • Residents who need accommodations as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act are encouraged to contact the project team in advance of any needs.
  • Dewatering pumps are a requirement for installing pipelines in Florida. The contractor is following all state and local procedures for placing and operating the pumps. Pumps are placed in the right of way, and when possible, away from homes. The pumps are moved roughly every 1-2 weeks.

The areas in which we are working are some of the oldest in Tampa and have presented a few surprises along the way. Most notably, our crews hit an unmarked, abandoned TECO gas line on Louisiana Avenue. They also continue to hit the old water services, many of which are either not marked appropriately or installed at incorrect depths. This past week, we encountered a very old, non-reinforced water pipe that broke as we were installing new sewer pipe in close proximity. These incidents are not unexpected when installing infrastructure in historic areas; we’ll continue to work diligently to minimize impacts should any other surprises present themselves going forward.

Looking ahead, crews continue to work in multiple locations. The dates listed below are tentative and subject to weather and unforeseen conditions:

  • Work on the outfall at the Hillsborough River should be completed in mid-March.
  • Microtunneling from Taliaferro under I-275 to Caracas is scheduled to begin in mid-March; crews will be installing 72-inch stormwater pipeline in Caracas on either side of I-275 as microtunneling is completed.
  • Pipeline and box culvert installation on Crest Boulevard will continue through April; crews will work to get clearance to place the lines in service in May and repaving of the roadway should be completed by early July.
  • Work on Florida Avenue will begin in April.
  • Box culvert installation will begin on Central at Giddens, heading south, late March to early April.
  • Crews will begin installing a new water main and box culvert on Central Avenue, north of Hillsborough Avenue, in late April.

We thank you for your continued patience as we install this important infrastructure project.  If you have any questions, please email us at projecti[email protected] or call us at (813) 580-5313.