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Projects converge, snarling downtown Tampa traffic

Ongoing work limits traffic on a portion of Tampa Street downtown. Pipes are being replaced and roads resurfaced.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

Ongoing work limits traffic on a portion of Tampa Street downtown. Pipes are being replaced and roads resurfaced.

Downtown Tampa is a dog pile of detours.

As work continues on upgrades to underground water utilities, commuters and city drivers must continue to make their way through a labyrinth of road work for the next few months.

The confusion is the result of a massive effort intended to improve water pressure as well as the flow of storm and wastewater.

Some of the projects have been going on for a while, but construction recently hit its apex with them overlapping in the downtown area.

"This is a phase when coincidently all the work is being done at once," said Wendy Nero spokeswoman for, CH2M Hill Constructors, the contractors for the project. "We knew there would be a peak in construction and that is occurring now."

Utility Capital Improvement Projects, the over-arching name for the initiative, started two years ago to replace pipelines, some of which are more than 100 years old. Aside from the work beneath the streets, road surfaces, including some brick streets, will be replaced or improved.

Funding for the $45.5 million effort comes from federal sources, the Channel District Community Redevelopment Area and the city of Tampa water utility rate increase.

The construction sites change weekly, sometimes leaving drivers confused.

One project called the Contribution in Aid of Construction will replace a 6.2-mile section of drinking water pipeline, through downtown to Ybor and into east Tampa.

An adjacent pipeline was installed and in use by June 3, but the road work awaits completion.

Pipeline replacement work in the downtown area is broken into phases A, B and C, all of which are under way. The work generally includes the area from Tampa Street to Nebraska Avenue and from Cass Street to Harrison Street.

In the Channel District, construction involves improvements to pipes on York and Washington streets.

Jared Leone can be reached at (813) 226-3435 or jleone@sptimes.com.

By the numbers

Contribution in Aid of Construction (CIAC)

Cost: $18.9 million

Complete: Sept. 30

Pipeline adjacent to (CIAC)

Cost: $2.1 million

Complete: Sept. 30

Downtown pipeline

• Phase A

Cost: $5.9 million

Complete: Nov. 5

• Phases B and C

Cost: $11.2 million

Complete: Feb. 7, 2011

York Street

Cost: $5.3 million

Complete: Oct. 30

Washington Street

Cost: $2.1 million

Complete: May 13, 2011

For more information, tampa-ucap.com

Projects converge, snarling downtown Tampa traffic 07/15/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 5:26pm]
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