We all breathed a sigh of relief earlier this week when Hurricane Dorian stayed off-shore far enough to spare South Florida. As part of the Town’s precautionary preparations for Dorian, work was suspended on the County’s sewer project. All open trenches were filled, and while it wasn’t an ideal driving surface, we at least had access through the construction area during the state of emergency. Now it’s time for the Lanzo crews to gear back up to full speed.
King Tides Create Another Impediment
As expected, King Tides caused flooding in the southern part of Town over the past few days, adding yet another obstacle for egress on and off the island. Once Dorian passed, the construction crews re-started the job in the center of Town, but in deference to the King Tides, Lanzo agreed to keep one lane open for us at the construction site.Additional King Tides are forecast for September 26 to October 3, October 25 to October 31, and November 24 to November 28. We can expect intermittent road closures in the south end of Town during those timeframes; fortunately, the full road closure from the sewer project should be behind us by then.
Impact to the County’s Sewer Project
The County and Lanzo informed us today they will leave one lane open at the construction site through the weekend. Starting Monday, September 9, the complete road closure in the middle of Town will be re-instated.
The County and Lanzo Construction have lost a significant amount of time and progress on the project as a result of:
- Having to fill in the work trenches as part of hurricane preparations;
- Not working when it looked as though Dorian was targeting us;
- Having to re-dig the trenches after Dorian passed;
- Not being able to re-instate the full road closure because of King Tides;
- And dealing with an elevated water table.
Prior to the Dorian threat, September 9 was the target date for the end of the full road closure and for opening at least one lane for the duration of the project. Obviously, that has now changed. We are waiting for a re-assessment and a new target date from Lanzo as to when there will no longer be the need for a full closure.
Also, just to clarify, “substantial completion” of the project was originally slated for mid- to late-September. “Substantial completion” means the new system is totally functional. “Substantial completion” does NOT mean that all equipment and construction crews will be gone. It will take several weeks beyond substantial completion to do the final wrap-up for the new system and to repave the entire road. We are hoping all traces of Lanzo’s crews will be gone before Thanksgiving, baring any other unforeseen events.
Others Were Not So Lucky
While we managed to dodge Dorian’s bullet, our neighbors in the Bahamas were not so fortunate. The devastation in the islands is horrific as a result of enduring hours/days of sustained winds up to 185 mph. The Town does not have adequate staff resources to spearhead a relief effort directly, however, there are a number of efforts already underway in our area to assist the Bahamians. I encourage you to get involved. Please do your homework before contributing to a particular entity. Sadly, there are always unethical people looking to profit from a catastrophe.
Continue to Pay Attention to Police Department Nixles
Short messages of urgency relating to any unexpected traffic flow issues will be sent as necessary from our Police Department via their Nixle Alert System. If you have not yet signed up to receive these messages, I urge you to do so by visiting the Town’s website at http://www.townofhillsborobeach.com. In the lower right-hand corner of the Home Page, you will see a box to enter your contact information in order to receive Nixle alerts.
Thank you for your patience as we endure the last few weeks of the County’s monster sewer project. You may have noticed recent articles in local papers (SunSentinel, August 23, 2019, Page 1) detailing the problems Ft. Lauderdale and other municipalities are having with their aging water and sewer lines. Although we have suffered two years of disruption, we are very fortunate to be at the tail-end of updating our infrastructure. Hallelujah! And we’re even more fortunate to have escaped the wrath of Dorian!