May 11, 2020
By Tiffany Razzano
Tampa City Council members approved a $4.4 million contract with Ric-Man Construction Florida, Inc. to replace existing water infrastructures along portions of Davis Boulevard and E. Davis Boulevard at their May 7 meeting.
This work is being partially funded by the city’s Progressive Infrastructure Planning to Ensure Sustainability (PIPES) program approved in September. Over the next 20 years, this long-term infrastructure project will raise $2.9 billion to update and replace the city’s aging water and wastewater systems through rate increases.
Fifty-three percent of the project is “funded upfront” through PIPES and the remainder will be funded by bond, said council member Charlie Miranda.
Council also approved funding for the second piece of this project, a complete safety overhaul of the roadway once the water main replacement is completed. Approximately $71,000 from the Davis Boulevard Complete Streets and Safety Improvements Project fund has been earmarked for this work, which includes narrowing travel lanes, lowering the speed limit to 30 miles per hour, construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Severn Avenue, landscaping improvements and medians, and ADA and pedestrian enhancements “to add more safety to the area,” said Jean Duncan, the city’s administrator of infrastructure and mobility.
“I know the community is looking forward to the completion of the project and we believe this is going to be a real aesthetic, safety and resiliency enhancement for Davis Islands,” she said.
Council member John Dingfelder said he is “excited” about what he considers a “fantastic” plan. Safety improvements along Davis Boulevard have been on his radar for decades, since he was president of the Davis Island Civic Association 25 years ago, he added. In that role, he “met with the city to talk about safety improvements and medians in the business district to get people to slow down and create a safe haven for pedestrians,” he said.
By pairing the safety improvements with work through the PIPES program, the city can “hit the ground running to get these projects out the door quickly,” Duncan said.