Water-Related News

County to spend $600,000 to repair culverts

Polk Commissioners last week got a quick lesson in culverts — how they work and how they don’t.

The board learned that there are some six of the bridge-like structures that are in immediate need of replacement or repair, and the clean-up measures will cost about $600,000.

A slide presentation illustrated how huge pipes laid underneath roads should work to provide drainage and were also shown how older structures can crumble, plug drainage systems and lead to localized flooding.

According to Transportation Department Director Jay Jarvis, the money to pay to fix six culverts that have failed will be transferred from an existing road striping budget, so no additional funds will be required.

The areas that are in immediate need were Alturas Babson Park Road; Crystal Lake Road where a crumbling structure will be replaced with new pipe; Keller Road at Bowlegs Creek, also failing will need new piping; the Old Eagle Lake/Winter Haven Road will require new drainage structures or pipes; County Line Road where standing water issues will be addressed and Eloise Loop Road where failing drainage systems have resulted in localized flooding.

Jarvis did not say when the work in the six locations would be undertaken or whether the work would be done by contractors or with county staff.

“Thanks for teaching us all about culverts,” said Commissioner Melony Bell at April 19 commission meeting. “I learned a lot about what they are and what they do when they work and when they don’t.”

The board agreed unanimously to the money transfer so the work can be undertaken as soon as possible.