Stormwater project nearly complete in South Immokalee
Street flooding from typical heavy summer rains in South Immokalee is a thing of the past.
The Immokalee Community Redevelopment Agency's stormwater sewer project is nearly complete, under budget, finished ahead of schedule and is already channeling heaving rainfall into the constructed system.
"We anticipated being fnished by December but we're almost finished now and we're coming in under budget," said Bradley Muckel, the CRA's project manager on the $3.5 million project.
Street drains leading to installed, underground pipes along Boston, Delaware, Colorado and Eutis avenues and along First through Ninth streets are channeling the heavy rainfall out of the streets and yards and into a filtration pond. Sidewalks along the streets have also been installed as part of the project.
While crews are quickly digging the rest of the filtration pond it remains a work in progress and is nearly complete.
"The pond is 75 percent completed," Muckel said. "The (protective) fence is installed, the banks are being sodded and we're trying to complete the digging. If we can get ahead of the rains we'll be finished in another three weeks."
Money for the work comes from a series of federal grants, much of which is tied to the stimulus package proposed by the Obama Administration and passed by Congress in 2009.
The new stormwater project is part of the overal Immokalee Area Master Plan improvements planned over the next few years.
The perennial flooding has been caused by a series of open-swale drainage ditches which cannot clear water from streets as efficiently as will the enclosed drainage and pipe system to be built. Historically, too, the street-muddied water flowed directly into the Lake Traffrord slough. The new drainage system will filter that water into a rentention pond where it will be cleaned naturally before being channeled into the slough.