For the next three years the Army Corps of Engineers will be taking over most of Jefferson Avenue Uptown.
Project Manager Lori Wingate explains, “We’re doing some drainage improvements in the Uptown area. This phase along Jefferson Avenue is from Dryades to Constance Street. It’s about a three year project.”
Right now crews are just getting started by clearing the neutral of trees, but eventually a huge underground canal will be built in phases, impacting two to three blocks at a time.
Construction should not severely start to affect drivers and those who live in these parts of Jefferson Avenue for another nine months. By then the Army Corps of Engineers plans to have a website up with real time updates.
The new underground drainage canal will be 14 feet wide, and eight feet high pushing water out to the lake instead of onto side streets.
“Again the goal is to get the water off the streets faster, away from the houses, away from the business and out to the lake,” says Wingate.
Plan to exercise patience though because while this underground canal is being built over the next few years traffic will be diverted, the streetcar will stand still during the summer of 2014 and some residents who live on Jefferson Avenue will have limited access to their homes.
“Especially people that live on the river bound side. They’ll have limited access to their homes for three to six months when they’re constructing the box culvert in front of their house,” says Wingate.