By Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor
Through the end of the year, Mendonsa Road is only open to local traffic.
Construction began in September on the roadway, which has a history of flooding and a number of problems with drainage.
In the next month, crews will tear out the existing bed, replace it and then repave over it.
So far, construction on the road has gone smoothly, according to City Manager Greg Horwedel, but roads such as Mendonsa, which are 50 to 60 years old, can have areas of “muck,” the product of the builders using old logs and pine tar as the road base. If “muck” is found under Mendonsa, it could delay the completion date.
“I’m sure that the folks that live there, it is an inconvenience, but there is no other way to repair the road,” Horwedel said.
Realtor Ken Gibbs and his family live off Mendonsa. He said with shuffling his children between home and school and extracurricular activities, the road construction can be an inconvenience, but it is absolutely necessary.
“It will be a good thing,” Gibbs said. “Looks like they’re doing a good job on it.”
Gibbs is happy the road is being repaired, because flooding from its poor drainage caused water flow to sit in his front yard. He also said the construction has redirected the amount of traffic that goes through Mendonsa and decreased the speed of the cars.
In addition to the drainage correction, the city has obtained a $62,000 Safe Routes to School grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. That money will used to build a sidewalk along the south side of Mendonsa Road.
Because the grant would require that the entire construction project be federalized if the sidewalk project was included in the Mendonsa construction project, the city decided to separate the two projects. Sidewalk construction will begin sometime in January, after the road construction project ends.
The sidewalk will be about three-tenths of a mile and take about two to three weeks to complete.
“It won’t be nearly as disruptive or time-consuming at Mendonsa,” Horwedel said of the sidewalk.
An engineer from Applied Sciences Consulting Inc. has been contracted by the city to design the sidewalk. The bid should not exceed $30,500.
Contact Amber Jurgensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.