With the Bessie stormwater-drainage improvements having reached the 45% design phase, Windermere residents received another chance to look at what the project will entail.
Town staff and representatives from Kimley-Horn hosted a virtual public workshop Tuesday, July 27, to update residents on the progress being made in the design phase.
Public Works Director Tonya Elliott-Moore reminded residents that both the dirt roads and their existing widths will be maintained as well as possible, and road width will be unaffected by the project.
“The design will also limit the amount of right of way used to ensure that the appearance and look of the road and adjacent properties remain as it exists today and mirrors as reasonably as possible what it will look like at the final design,” Elliott-Moore said. “The design also incorporates the water lines associated with the town’s potable water master plan. It is more efficient and generally more cost effective — as well as less of a disturbance to residents — to perform this work simultaneously.”
Elliott-Moore added she and Town Engineer John Fitzgibbon have met with many affected residents on site at their properties and modified the design based upon those conversations and input.
“We are reviewing a design that has been built based upon input from those most directly impacted while adhering to best management processes in stormwater and hydraulic engineering to not only lessen the impacts for storm events but to also assist in protecting our gorgeous lake system,” she said.
“We believe we’ve engineered a solution that maintains the charm and character of the town but at the same time provides a solid engineering solution, meeting the requirements of the grant to improve our stormwater collection and treatment to protect our lakes.” — John Fitzgibbon, town engineer
Fitzgibbon thanked the residents who have been directly impacted for their time, support and input throughout the process.
“We believe we’ve engineered a solution that maintains the charm and character of the town but at the same time provides a solid engineering solution, meeting the requirements of the grant to improve our stormwater collection and treatment to protect our lakes,” Fitzgibbon said.
The Bessie project includes improvements on Ninth Avenue, East Boulevard, Eighth Avenue, Bessie Street, Oakdale Street, Magnolia Street and Third Avenue.
On Ninth Avenue, the plan is to continue using and optimizing the existing open-swale system on the north side of the road. Victor Gallo, civil engineer with Kimley-Horn, said the same will be done on Oakdale Street.
“There’s a lot of water that is coming from Oakdale and contributing to where currently it’s draining using the road as conveyance and therefore bringing sediment transport and erosion to an area of Ninth just east of Oakdale,” Gallo said. “We’re providing that conveyance system, providing relief and avoiding the constant erosion of the road and the ponding that is occurring right now on Ninth.”
At Ninth Avenue and East Boulevard, engineers proposed a T-intersection configuration due to safety concerns with drivers coming around the curve. There also would be a bio-retention system on the right side of East Boulevard.
The existing retention pond on Eighth Avenue will be upgraded, and engineers will be making some adjustments to the stormwater system there to be able to send water into it. On Bessie Street, design plans call for realigning the road to move the project away from private property.
At the basin boundary at Seventh Avenue, engineers plan to crown the road to where the curve begins. That would allow for conveying water flow into the retention area before it becomes an issue and before it is discharged into Lake Bessie.
“We’re redirecting water, trying to keep it as much as possible off of private property, trying to keep it from tearing up our dirt roads too much, redirecting it into swales which captures it, then we’re conveying it and we’re treating it so that it doesn’t cause as much impact to our lakes,” Elliott-Moore said. “That’s a broad overview of everything they’ve tried to do within this plan.”