Now that Windermere’s Park Avenue corridor enhancement is complete, it’s Second Avenue’s turn for a facelift.
Town staff held a public workshop with residents who live on Second Avenue and west of Pine Street on Thursday, Jan. 18. During the workshop, staff shared potential solutions it is looking at to improve the conditions of the road and how residents’ properties might be impacted by right-of-way constraints and other issues relative to width of the roadway, pavement condition and stormwater management.
In 2015, Windermere didn’t have a pavement-management plan in place, Town Manager Robert Smith said. The town hired a firm to conduct an area traffic study to help it determine the condition of its roadways and create a maintenance plan based on analytical data. This also assisted staff in developing a Capital Improvements Plan to prioritize the enhancement and improvement of particular roadways.
“The first (on the Roadway Capital Improvements Plan) was Park Avenue,” Smith said. “We’ve now moved from Park Avenue into Second Avenue. The problem is when we did the initial analysis, they assumed we would do a minor repaving. That roadway needs to be widened, and there’s stormwater management that goes with that.”
Second Avenue currently suffers from significant longitudinal and alligator cracking, much of which is attributed to water seeping into the pavement. Additionally, the edges of the pavement are crumbling in some places, which causes a hazard to drivers.
The Pavement Condition Index is a scale between 0 and 100 that is used to rate the conditions of pavement. Anything below 55 is considered poor or worse as the number approaches 0. The PCI for West Second Avenue ranged from 50 to 10.
“Right now, there’s a ton of failures in the edges of the pavement,” Smith said. “It’s because you can’t get those trucks or cars past each other, so you’re having to pull over to the side of the road, which is ripping the roadway up.”
And because the original roadway analysis was based on the firm’s assumption of repaving only, the price will increase significantly because of the necessary road widening and implementation of stormwater management. The original price of $168,000 is estimated to increase to about $1 million.
The problem is that the town has a charter amendment requiring a referendum if Smith should have to take out a loan of more than 12.5% of the town’s budget. Therefore, he has to save money — about $400,000 — each year to hold in the reserves to fund these projects.
“Because of the cost and amount of design that has to go into this, it’s probably an 18-month, if not longer, timeframe before we actually break ground on the project,” Smith said. “We’re hoping to have the money in a two-year time frame to fund the project.”
The town is considering widening the road to 22 feet. This includes two nine-foot lanes and two two-foot drop curbs on either side. There also would be some grass swales on either side, so it still allows people to park in front of their homes. However, the town wants to hear from residents first.
“Once we get a feel from the next meeting of which design the majority is in support of, then we actually get into the details of how much fencing, walls, irrigation and driveways will be impacted (by right-of-way encroachment),” Smith said. “We’ll address the concerns relative to stop signage, speed humps and speeding all within the design phase. That’s the No. 1 concern everyone keeps reaching out to me for, and that’s all to be determined.”
Town staff will hold a second public workshop for Second Avenue residents who live east of Pine Street at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at Town Hall.
“It’s all on how we want that roadway to look and what your (the residents’s) input is, and it has to make engineering sense as well,” Smith told residents at the first workshop. “Now is the time to let us know what you want, what you don’t want and what your concerns are.”