One more Lutz subdivision is coming off well water with a new pipeline set to connect the Crystal Lakes Manors with Hillsborough County’s water distribution system.
The 4.5 miles of pipeline will take a year to build, beginning next year, and may disrupt traffic on U.S. 41 and Lutz Lake Fern Road. But in the end, the $4.8 million project will not only improve water for Crystal Lake residents, but could set up the rest of Lutz for connection to the main water system in the near future.
“I’m happy with what’s being proposed,” said Kim Foster, a resident of Crystal Lakes Manors who attended a recent informational meeting at the Lutz Community Center. “The water we have now is adequate and good, but we live right next to the chlorination facility, so we’ve always had concern with having high-chlorinated water.”
Whether that’s an issue or not will be eliminated with the new pipeline, which will mean the closure of the chlorination facility and two wells, which currently serve the nearly 200 homes in the community.
The project will be constructed in three phases, first beginning on the west side of U.S. 41 from West Chapman Road past Lake Drive. Then it’s Crenshaw Lake Road along the west side of U.S. 41 to Crystal Lake Road. Finally, the project will end once the county connects from just south of Fourth Avenue Southeast on the east side of U.S. 41 to First Avenue Southeast.
A lot of the project will coincide with a resurfacing project planned by the Florida Department of Transportation in 2014, allowing the two projects to piggyback, said Charles Cullen from the engineering design firm behind the project, CDM Smith.
“With the resurfacing of U.S. 41, that impact would’ve been felt regardless of the pipeline project,” he said.
That could mean some lane closures along U.S. 41, but Lutz Lake Fern Road should remain mostly clear since work there would take place in the right of way. Most of the construction will take place during the day beginning at 7 a.m., with some overnight work when needed.
The only communities and homes being connected to the new line right now are those immediately adjacent to the construction site. That left some unanswered questions for one resident.
“They didn’t explain anything that would happen to the existing water lines, or if other people would be able to connect to it,” said Tom De St. Jean, who also lives on Crystal Grove Boulevard. “It doesn’t make sense to bring that water line out there, and not let people connect. If you are not adjacent to the line itself, you cannot connect.”
That’s because the county’s comprehensive plan for the area only allows for connection by communities that are immediately adjacent to it, county water officials said during the meeting.
Construction is set to begin in March, and wrap up sometime during the spring of 2015.
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