Will the end ever come?

The blue sign on Avalon Blvd says the $40 million project to expand a stretch of the road leading to the Interstate 10 on-ramp says it should be complete by fall of this year. According to Tanya Blanton, public information specialist with the Florida Department of Transportation, the last schedule update indicated the contractor would finish December 15. However,  Blanton said more delays may push the project later.

Blanton said, “Due to additional work and unforeseen subsurface conditions, additional time will need to be granted to the contract…The additional time on the project is due to the unforeseen unsuitable subsurface soil conditions and repairs to the base (under the roadway) failures and high water table. This issue caused a redesign of the section of roadway which added days to the contract.”  

Asked how this wasn’t discovered before, Blanton said, “Soil samples can be taken on any project,  but until you get down deeper into the soils you do not know exactly what is there.  Also, the storm event of 2014 changed the water table, which altered the sub soil.”

Blanton also discussed road and bridgework left on the project. The remaining bridge work to be completed, she said, is installation of the traffic separator and aluminum safety rail on the bridge. As to the roadway work, she said what’s left includes excavation and removal of temporary asphalt and embankment south of the new northbound bridge, installation of graded aggregate base, curb and gutter, structural and friction course asphalt, roadway signs and thermoplastic striping.

By the end of the project, Blanton said Avalon Blvd will have drainage improvements, sidewalks, a new bridge built over Mulatto Bayou, high mast lighting at I-10, and other minor improvements.