Section of Wickham Road To Close For Improvements, $800K Project Begins Monday
By Space Coast Daily // February 22, 2016
Wickham Road Closed February 22- April 2
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – An estimated 35,000 motorists who use Wickham Road, between Aurora Road and Eau Gallie Boulevard, will face detours beginning at 10 p.m. Feb. 22 through April 2 due to a nearly $800,000 project to install a drainage culvert and other upgrades as part of a stormwater improvements project.
The project is part of ongoing drainage work in the area to protect flood-prone homes, especially those in the Kingsmill and Longwood subdivisions, and other homes and businesses along the Palomino Road and Aurora Road area.
The area suffered major flooding as recently as Tropical Storm Fay in 2008, Hurricane Erin and other major storm events.
The project includes five separate drainage improvement upgrades, the largest involving installation of a concrete box culvert under Wickham Road just south of Aurora Road and adjacent to two existing box culverts.
To minimize frustration on those who travel in that area, the project has been planned in similar fashion to an emergency culvert replacement on Palm Bay Road, a project that was completed four weeks ahead of schedule.
“The time has come. We’re doing this in the dryer part of the year to avoid rain, and in the fastest, most efficient way to do it,” said John Denninghoff, director of Brevard County Public Works.
“Wickham Road is a heavily traveled roadway, and it is to the benefit of area residents that this work be accomplished in a timely manner to minimize the amount of time the road is closed to traffic.”
The project is grant funded, and estimated to cost between $723,500 to $800,000. Utilities, including a lift station, overhead power lines and water and gas mains, pose one of the biggest obstacles of the project, Denninghoff said.
“The real story is that this is a big piece of long-planned and very costly projects needed to do flood control in that area,” Denninghoff said.
“We implemented different parts of the project over the years, primarily those that have prevented making the flooding in that area worse. In our effort to accomplish that we’ve worked downstream to upstream. We’ve gotten lots of projects done, but there are now projects we need to do upstream and they cannot be done until that project at Wickham is completed.”
Despite planned detours, there will be variable sign boards and other signage that will direct traffic to businesses in the area under construction. The projected time of road closure for Wickham Road is 40 days. Work will be performed 12 hours per day; 6 days per week. Scheduling depends on weather and material deliveries.
Denninghoff advised those who use the area for work, shopping or getting to and from their homes to begin now planning alternative routes that will help them avoid the construction area. The detour route for northbound traffic is east along Eau Gallie Boulevard to Croton Road, then north to Aurora Road back west to Wickham.
The reverse route will be established for southbound traffic. Denninghoff said there are multiple alternative routes that could be used, however.
While there are currently two 8-foot by 5-foot box culverts under Wickham Road at the Eau Gallie River, the project will construct an additional 110-foot long 8-foot-by-5-foot culvert under Wickham Road to increase the capacity of the drainage system, thus reducing frequency and duration of flooding events.
To coincide with the start of the project, Brevard County will created a Facebook page devoted exclusively for providing details and updates, as well as answers to questions posed by the public.
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