A recent stormwater project is the latest effort by the town of Windermere to improve the quality of life of residents.
The town saw the completion of a stormwater project last month to deal with ongoing stormwater drainage issues along Bayshore Drive.
Public Works Director Scott Brown said the town had been hearing concerns about water collecting on one side of the road and running onto nearby properties.
Brown said the flooding issues were brought to his attention three years ago — though the problems could have existed longer than that, he said. Photos taken by residents showed water collecting on the street and helped the town work with an engineer and contractor to make the right fix.
“We look for the residents to let us know of these issues — they’re the ones that live there,” Brown said.
“It was several residents (who were impacted) — not only the ones adjacent to the inlets, but everybody that lives down at the end of the street, because they still have to travel through it,” he said. “Coming in or coming out of that area impacted everybody from this point to the end — which I think there are probably a dozen or so more residents down that way.”
The project, which began last November, involved building new ditch-bottom inlets on each side of the road connected by an underground culvert pipe 14 inches high and 23 inches wide under the street. Stormwater flows down into the inlets, is carried through another newly constructed pipe under a resident’s driveway and travels through a swale system along Bayshore Drive to a retention area about 450 feet away that drains into Little Lake Down.
“With the rainfall events that we’ve had since then, we’ve seen a drastic difference already in the result of the project,” Brown said.
Brown explained that the water collecting on the roads is not only a nuisance to neighbors, it’s a safety issue.
“When you have water standing in the middle of the night … our saying is, ‘Don’t drown, turn around,’” Brown said. “Say there (was) a culvert system existing there before. I’ve had this happen where a pipe rots out, the storm erodes that pipe and there’s a big gaping hole underneath this puddle of water in the middle of the road. You don’t know how deep that water is. … Be cautious — don’t drive through standing water. That’s something we try to instill in everybody.”
Another stormwater project already is underway along Park Avenue — across the street from Windermere Elementary School — to address ponding water on the side of the road. A similar system to the Bayshore Drive project is being installed using culvert pipe and a shallow swale system to convey the water into open drainage boxes.
A sidewalk nearby also is going to be widened, moved a couple feet away from the roadway and connected to another portion of sidewalk.
Construction began in December and should be completed by the beginning of May, Brown said.