THE UNDERHILL UPDATE
with District 2 Commissioner Doug Underhill
November 2017 Newsletter
Infrastructure Projects in District 2
There are two primary functions of the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners: public safety and infrastructure. Despite my best efforts to cut other costs to fund the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office this year, we came up short. I am still optimistic that the governor will direct us to correct that shortfall, but for now it is out of our hands. However, I am very proud of where we stand on the second part, infrastructure.
The following is a list of current projects that are in the design, bidding, funding or construction phase. Click on the project name for more detailed projected information:
Bayou Chico Dredging
This project is a multi-year, multi-phase project. Phase 1 will include planning, design and permitting. Planning will include physical and chemical characterization of bayou sediments and a feasibility study to evaluate contamination removal through dredging and/or other available technologies and potential disposal methods. Future phases will address removal of contamination from the bayou through dredging and/or other available technologies. The first phase of the project was included with the draft Initial Funded Priorities List approved by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council on Dec. 9, 2015. Phase I will begin once funds have been released by the Restoration Council.
Beach Haven NE Zone Drainage and Sewer Phase 1
Construction is underway for the first of a 12 phase drainage and sanitary sewer project. Phase 1 extends from Gulf Beach Highway on the south to Jones Swamp on the north, Decatur Avenue on the west and Mills Avenue on the east, excluding a portion of Bartow Avenue north of Eliasberg Street. The project scope includes drainage enhancements, roadway reconstruction, resurfacing improvements and construction of a community wastewater collection system. Construction started in February and is expected to be complete in February 2019, pending weather conditions.
Beach Haven NE Zone Drainage and Sewer Phase 2
The second phase of a 12 phase project, the design is funded through a joint cost-sharing agreement with Emerald Coast Utilities Authority. The Northeast Zone Phase 2 boundaries extend from Gulf Beach Highway on the south to Jones Swamp and Old Hickory Subdivision on the north, Fairfield Drive on the west and Decatur Avenue on the east. The project scope includes drainage enhancements, roadway reconstruction, resurfacing improvements and construction of a community wastewater collection system. The construction phase is not yet funded.
Bob-O-Link Gorham and Cruzat
The Bob-O-Link, Gorham & Cruzat project is the third phase of the Innerarity Point Road Drainage Improvement Project. This portion of the project will address residential flooding by providing positive outflow for stormwater. Currently, untreated stormwater will be treated via swales, reducing pollutants from entering the bay. The project will also incorporate a living shoreline at the north end of both Bob-O-Link Road and Cruzat Way. The living shorelines will protect from erosion, enhance wildlife habitat and maintain neighborhood access. Drainage construction is currently funded.
Cherokee Trail Sidewalks (Mobile Highway to Apache Trail)
Sidewalks will be constructed along the north side of Cherokee Trail from Mobile Highway to Apache Trail. Construction is underway and is anticipated to be complete in December, pending weather conditions.
Coral Creek Drainage - West
This project is an addition to the original Coral Creek project and will address the remaining drainage needs on the west side of Coral Creek Subdivision to address flooding on Caribbean Drive. This project is designed and permitted, but is pending due to a delay in the acquisition of a needed easement.
Estates at Emerald Shores
The goal of this project is to alleviate flooding within the subdivision by providing a secondary outfall for the wetland area in the center of the subdivision. This secondary outfall will provide emergency overflow capability during extreme storm events. The first phase, which is complete, included repairing the damaged retention pond. This project is funded and is in the pre-construction phase.
Grande Lagoon Subdivision Drainage
In response to the storm damage and flooding of April 2014, a study was completed to evaluate the Grande Lagoon Subdivision drainage area. The county contracted with Hatch Mott MacDonald to perform the study and provide alternatives to improve the drainage in the Grande Lagoon Subdivision. Hatch Mott MacDonald was subsequently contracted to conduct the FEMA Phase 1 drainage design and storm mitigation improvements. Phase 2 will address the improvements to the Grande Lagoon drainage system. Phase 1 is complete and Phase 2 is in the bidding stage. It is funded, planned and permitted.
Gulf Beach Highway Drainage Repairs
This project consists of repairing failures along a storm sewer pipe on Gulf Beach Highway between Ponte Verde Road and Longwood Drive that occurred during the April 2014 flood event. Repairs include removing and replacing storm sewer pipe, ditch bottom inlet, concrete driveway and sidewalk. Construction is substantially complete.
Gulf Beach Highway Intersection Improvement-Patton Drive and Sunset Avenue
The county has received FDOT approval via a feasibility study to install traffic signals at the intersections of Gulf Beach Highway and Sunset Avenue and Gulf Beach Highway and Patton Drive to help improve traffic operations for the area and also provide bicycle and pedestrian amenities. The county has 100 percent construction plans, has received all necessary permit approvals and is awaiting to enter into a cost-sharing agreement with FDOT to begin construction. The signals will be coordinated and be configured in such a way to allow staff to remotely manipulate the signal timings and detect issues proactively.
Innerarity Island Water and Sewer Project
The Florida legislature has appropriated Escambia County as the receiver of the abandoned Innerarity Island water and sewer utilities, which are in need of significant upgrades. To make the needed improvements, Escambia County has entered into an interlocal agreement with ECUA to oversee and manage upgrades to the water system. Once the project is complete, ECUA will accept the water system for maintenance. The water system design and construction is funded through $1.5 million in FDEP grants. This project is currently under construction and is expected to be complete in January, with ECUA taking ownership in March. The sewer system is in the pre-design phase and the county is working on an interlocal agreement with ECUA.
Jones Swamp Floodplain Restoration
This project is the restoration of 10+ acres of historic wetlands within the Jones Creek floodplain. The area was cleared and filled by the U.S. Navy in the 1950s to provide a clearway beyond the southern end of the airfield runway as a safety feature. The project will restore wetlands and wildlife habitat by excavating fill material associated with the former clearway. It will include initial geotechnical survey of fill material. Findings shall be evaluated for material suitability for clean fill material. The project will also evaluate fill material prior to removal for potential contamination. The environmental assessments and wetland delineations are complete. Plans are anticipated to be completed in December, and the project will be funded by the Gulf Restoration Fund.
Lake Charlene - Warrington Study
Escambia County has been awarded a Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant Program grant for the Lake Charlene Outfall Project, to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters. The goal of this mitigation project is to improve drainage for the Lake Charlene area. The project begins at the channel intersecting Lake Joanne Drive on the west and expands east to the intersection of South 61st Avenue, then south to the outfall at U.S. Highway 98. Design is expected to be complete this month with construction beginning in 2018 pending FEMA approval.
Lake Charlene Sediment Capture
This project is in the pre-design phase and consists of evaluating drainage systems within the Warrington watershed to confirm Best Management Practices installation specifically designed to capture and reduce pollutant loading prior to discharge into Lake Charlene. Construction plans will be developed for the installation of the BMPs designed to capture/reduce sediments and pollutant loading. The project design phase is tentatively slated to take place January-April 2018.
This project replaces a 48-foot corrugated metal pipe which extends from Massachusetts Avenue south between homes in Mayfair subdivision on Algiers Street and Chasefield subdivision. The pipe then turns west between homes on Alexandria Drive and the Chasefield subdivision. The pipe has collapsed in multiple locations, causing washouts to occur. This project will be constructed in phases and consists of installing ditch bottom inlets, removing and replacing pipe. Construction of phases 1 and 2 is complete. Design of phases 3 and 4 will be complete this month, and the project is expected to be bid by the first of 2018.
Myrtle Grove Elementary Pond
Navy Boulevard Access Management and Corridor Beautification Project
The Myrtle Grove Elementary Pond project is a stormwater routing and retention project designed to alleviate chronic flooding issues at Myrtle Grove Elementary School. The pond design will include a pop-off or emergency overflow route running west through a series of ponds/easements before eventually outletting into the stormwater system along 65th Avenue previously constructed with the Myrtle Grove Sidewalk Project. The scope is to include pond siting, real estate acquisition, stormwater and pond design, and construction. Construction is anticipated to begin in April 2018 and conclude in September 2018, pending real estate acquisition.
The Florida Department of Transportation is conducting a PD&E study to analyze the existing characteristics, evaluate community needs and impacts, and develop proposed conceptual improvements along the Navy Boulevard corridor from New Warrington Road to the Bayou Chico Bridge. The study area is approximately 1.4 miles in length and contains three signalized intersections, serving as a significant regional arterial connection within the Pensacola community. The purpose of this project is to evaluate development of a complete-street concept that is safe, operationally efficient, accommodates bicycles, pedestrians and transit, meets FDOT and permitting agencies standards, handles stormwater and achieves the desired redevelopment goals while providing access to adjacent parcels and side streets.
Navy Point Park Living Shorelines Project
Navy Point Park Living Shorelines Project design incorporates public pedestrian access to the shoreline, while protecting the shoreline, adjacent park property and infrastructure for the future. Oyster reefs are installed to reduce wave energy, and native shoreline and upland vegetation are planted to hold sediment in place. These projects are authorized through permits issued by Florida Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
North Old Corry Field Road Sidewalk Improvements
This is a drainage and pedestrian safety improvement project that will close the ditch system on the east side of the road with pipes and add a sidewalk from Jackson Creek Bridge to Jackson Street. Design is complete and construction is anticipated to begin in January 2018 and finish in July 2018, pending transfer of additional LAP Funding.
Old Corry Field Road Bridge (South)
As a result of the April 2014 flooding event, approximately 300 feeet of Old Corry Field Road washed out above and on each side of the existing box culverts at East Jones Creek. The county is working with the Federal Highway Administration on this proposed repair project consisting of the removal of existing box culverts and installation of a precast bridge structure. Project bidding is expected to begin in January 2018. Construction grant funding requests have been made to the Florida Legislature and Department of Economic Opportunity.
Patton Drive ADA Improvements
The Patton Drive project consists of improving an existing gravel parking lot with new Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant space. This is a joint project between Emerald Coast Utilities Authority and the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners which will be funded by the Community Redevelopment Agency. The project is in the pre-design phase.
- Long Lake Drive from Lake Joanne Drive to northeast cul-de-sac
- 58th Avenue from Annette Street to Lillian Highway
- 59th Avenue from Margaretta Boulevard to Annette Street
- 60th Avenue from Lillian Highway to south end
- Florence Street from 61st Avenue to 57th Avenue
- Margaretta Boulevard from 61st Avenue to 57th Avenue
- Kee Memorial Drive from Gulf Beach Highway to north end
- 63rd Avenue from Jackson Street to Lillian Highway
South Old Corry Field Road Sidewalk Improvements
This is a drainage and pedestrian safety improvement project that will close the ditch system on the east side of the road with pipes and add upgrade the sidewalk from Jackson Creek bridge to Warrington Middle School. Project plans are due this month and the grant application is expected to be submitted.
Southwest Greenway Expansion Phase IV
Project includes construction of a new elevated pedestrian boardwalk from the existing Decatur Boardwalk to a road crossing at Fairfield Drive. The bid opening has been extended to Nov. 7.
West Cervantes Street Corridor Management Plan
The Florida-Alabama Transportation Planning Organization recently approved a Corridor Management Plan for West Cervantes Street from North A Street to Dominguez Street. The purpose of this corridor management plan is to identify improvements needed to increase the safe and efficient movement of people and goods and improvements needed to support all modes of transportation including roadway capacity, public transit and bicycle and pedestrian movements.
Be There for Veterans and Service Members
Supporting the veteran or service member in your life who’s going through a difficult time doesn’t have to be complicated. We can all play a role in preventing suicide. Join the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense in spreading the word that preventing suicide starts with this simple act: Be There.
Helping someone feel included and supported can make a big difference during a challenging time. Small acts — calling an old friend, checking in on a neighbor, or inviting a colleague on a walk — are all thoughtful ways to show someone you care.
Visit VeteransCrisisLine.net/SpreadTheWord to download free materials and to learn how you and your community can help prevent suicide.
If you notice warning signs in yourself or a veteran loved one, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text 838255 to get confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
There's an App for That!
Need help? Have a question? The Ask MyEscambia mobile and desktop application is available and ready to connect you directly with county services. The app can be used to report road issues, stormwater maintenance, code enforcement complaints, Pensacola Beach issues, stray dogs and much more to the appropriate department. For more information on how to use the mobile or desktop application, click here.
Upcoming Meetings & Events
Myrtle Grove Revitalization Group
1030 N. 57th Ave, Pensacola
Tuesday, Nov. 7
Committee of the Whole
Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building
221 Palafox Place
Thursday, Nov. 9
Veterans Day - County Offices Closed
Friday, Nov. 10
Florida-Alabama TPO West Cervantes Street Road Reduction A.M. Public Workshop
Hagler-Mason Room at Pensacola City Hall
222 W. Main St.
Monday, Nov. 13
Florida-Alabama TPO West Cervantes Street Road Reduction P.M. Public Workshop
Hagler-Mason Room at Pensacola City Hall
222 W. Main St.
Monday, Nov. 13
Science Hour - Stormwater Pollution
Escambia County Central Office Complex
3363 West Park Place
Thursday, Nov. 16
Thanksgiving Holidays - County Offices Closed
Nov. 23 & 24
CRA, Agenda Review, Public Forum & Regular Meeting
Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building
221 Palafox Place
Thursday, Nov. 30
9 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Pensacola Remote Area Clinic
Pensacola High School
500 W. Maxwell St.
Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2-3
Remote Area Medical and local volunteers will be providing FREE MEDICAL SERVICES to members of the community. Services offered will include vision, dental and general medical care as well as education and access to free or reduced price follow-up care. For more information about this event, contact RAM Clinics Organizer JoAnn Vanfleteren at 850-346-1978, firstname.lastname@example.org or find the Pensacola clinic on Facebook @PensacolaRAMClinic.