Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

Heavy rains wreak havoc on Plant City roads

Torrential rains have played havoc with Plant City roads, but the worst of the damage may occur when the water table recedes.

Engineers are looking to make major repairs on Wedgewood Drive and Wedgewood Court in the city's Walden Lake community. Other upgrades are needed on Maki Road, Vermont Street, Wood Court and Silvermoon Drive. That doesn't count dozens of other streets plagued by potholes.

The culprit is water and in most cases it's been bubbling under the road surface for months, even years, weakening the layer of compacted limestone that supports the asphalt surface and allowing the road to crack.

Higher-than-average rainfall has made matters worse. The city endured 50 inches of rain this spring and summer, about 12 inches more than usual. City engineer Brett Gocka estimates calls for pothole repairs are up 25 percent compared to a year ago.

Even more bad news might be brewing as the rainy season departs and city streets dry out and start to contract.

"We'll begin to see the full extent in a couple months," city manager Greg Horwedel said.

For two years, Wedgewood residents have noticed cracking and deterioration of the asphalt surface. They attributed the problem to a broken pipe, but instead it seems topography and drainage problems are more to blame, said Gocka, who evaluated a recent consultant's report that examined the problem.

Gocka and city commissioners haven't decided how to tackle the Wedgewood issue.

One alternative is to build a network of drains and pipes beneath the road, then replace the limestone subsurface with a rigid concrete-asphalt bed. Making those repairs, which include new pavement and curbs, could take two months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Ray Page, president of the Wedgewood Homeowners Association, said the road started cracking three years ago. The street is dotted with places where potholes were filled in. At some larger cracks, water can be seen bubbling up through the asphalt.

"This is a nice neighborhood and people are concerned about their homes and their properties, and I don't blame them," said Page, 70, who retired to Wedgewood Drive from New Jersey 13 years ago.

Horwedel said city commissioners will meet in a couple weeks to prioritize streets that need minor repairs. Then, in about a month, officials will set out to prioritize roads that need major reconstruction, such as Wedgewood Drive.

Officials trying to schedule the work will consider how much use the roads get, the extent of damage and the cost of the repairs. Gocka hasn't yet figured out the costs to repair Wedgewood Drive and Wedgewood Court. He'll know in a couple weeks. The streets provide access to 26 homes in Walden Lake.

"The streets in Wedgewood always seem to be wet, and with the summer we're having, it hasn't helped the situation," said Tom Daramus, general manager at Walden Lake. "Hopefully, the city can come in here and fix the problem."

Rich Shopes can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2454.

Comments
Being your own lawyer: bad idea. People in Tampa Bay do it anyway.

Being your own lawyer: bad idea. People in Tampa Bay do it anyway.

LARGO — Daniel Richards walked into the courtroom in his orange jail scrubs. Carrying a stack of papers, he stood in front of Pinellas Circuit judge Chris Helinger as she glanced at the handwritten documents he filed days earlier."I foresee foul play...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry May 19

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry May 19

LONDON — Kensington Palace says the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be held on May 19. The palace announced the date Friday and confirmed the ceremony will take place in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The couple announced their...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Missing Child Alert canceled for Port St. Lucie girl, 17

A Florida Missing Child Alert has been canceled for a 17-year-old Port St. Lucie girl who was last seen on Thursday.The case involving Heaven Flores has been resolved, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether Dirk Koetter is fighting for his job the final three weeks of season. Is there a rift between him and Jameis Winston? Has Winston shown enough progress this year? And who are the Glaz...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, later found in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, later found in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men, with several outstanding warrants, face additional charges after Hillsborough County deputies said they were driving a stolen car when they fled an attempted traffic stop on Thursday afternoon.The men ran away from deputie...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Hudson pedestrian killed while crossing U.S. 19

HUDSON — A Hudson man was killed Thursday night while crossing U.S. 19.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 59-year-old Gerald Berube was crossing the northbound lanes of U.S. 19 north of Stahl Drive around 6:40 p.m. when he walked into the path ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Forecast: Morning clouds yield to bright, warm weekend sunshine across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Morning clouds yield to bright, warm weekend sunshine across Tampa Bay

Early clouds and possible morning sprinkles will yield to increasing sunshine later in the day, setting the stage for a pleasant and warmer weekend across Tampa Bay.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area Temperatures are starti...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Bicyclist killed in Seminole Heights crash; portion of E Hillsborough Avenue closed

TAMPA — A bicyclist was killed early Friday morning in a crash in Seminole Heights.Tampa Police say the bicyclist was struck by a car just after 12:15 a.m.Eastbound E Hillsborough Avenue is closed from N Florida Avenue to N Central Avenue while polic...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The Daystarter: Focus on free speech in colleges; Rays trades may still be coming; Katy Perry tonight in Tampa; remembering ‘The Fight Doctor’

The Daystarter: Focus on free speech in colleges; Rays trades may still be coming; Katy Perry tonight in Tampa; remembering ‘The Fight Doctor’

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• A stray shower is possible today as another cold front moves through, according to 10Weather WTSP. Luckily, the front only depresses temperatures into the lower 70s. The week...
Updated: 4 hours ago
St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, under construction since 2015, is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2019.The five-story, 137,100-square-foot building will house businessman and collector Rudy Ciccarello’s...
Updated: 4 hours ago