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The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

Sewer repairs on Lockwood near an end

A+sign+warns+drivers+of+the+narrowing+road+ahead.+Due+to+construction+on+Lockwood+Boulevard%2C+many+students+have+found+trouble+driving+to+school.
photo by Isaiah Macri
A sign warns drivers of the narrowing road ahead. Due to construction on Lockwood Boulevard, many students have found trouble driving to school.

The road blockage and ongoing work on Lockwood Boulevard has left many wondering, “What’s the cause?” “What’s taking so long?” and “When will this end?” 

The problem stems from an issue with a section gravity sanitary sewer that collects the water from the Carillon subdivision and sends it south to a wastewater pump station. One of the main issues with this is that the sewer is abnormally deep, making it much more challenging to work on. 

According to Dennis Westrick, a senior engineer for the Seminole County Environmental Services Department, the gravity sewer is around 30 feet deep, which is unusual because they are commonly found at depths of eight to 10 feet underground.

The eight-inch in diameter PVC pipes collapsed causing sections of the system to become clogged. Robotic cameras were used to inspect the sewer but it eventually reached a point where even the cameras could not pass through. Because of this, the county had to hire a private contractor that had the proper equipment to dig that deep. Seminole County awarded a contract to the Kiewit Corporation for the repairs.

Another main issue is dewatering the area so the sewer can be properly repaired.

“One of the challenges in Florida when you do excavations, regardless of what you’re excavating for, is water,” Westrick said.

“It’s taken longer than we originally anticipated and the contractor anticipated. They’re hoping to do the pipe bursting next week.”

— Dennis Westrick, Seminole County Environmental Services Depatment senior engineer

The water must be continuously pumped out or the area will refill. A mechanical issue with one of the pumps resulted in some progress being lost, pushing back the date that the project was expected to be finished. Dewatering is also an important process for installing a new manhole, as the manhole must be set on a stable dry bed of stone or soil.

The repair will be made through a process called pipe bursting, in which a same size or slightly larger pipe is inserted into the damaged pipe. This process was supposed to begin around mid May but was pushed back due to delays in the dewatering process. Once the two new manholes are installed, workers can pull the new pipe through and begin the restoration process. Once this is done the subcontractor will then come in, lay the base for the road and repave it. The repairs are expected to finish 12 weeks behind schedule and cost about $1.5 million from the water and sewer fund. 

“It’s taken longer than we originally anticipated and the contractor anticipated. They’re hoping to do the pipe bursting next week,”   Westrick said.

The projected schedule, assuming everything goes to plan, is that the road will reopen at the end of September. 

“It’s unfortunate that the sewer main is a travel lane, it’s usually placed in the median,” Westrick said.

This is the main reason so much of Lockwood Boulevard, a crucial road for many students and Oviedo residents’ daily lives, had to be blocked off. 

Junior Preston Hearn shared his feelings on driving down the road which requires a merge into a singular narrow lane straddled by construction cones.

“I drive a truck through, it’s pretty narrow so I have to pay close attention to not hit any barricades,” Hearn said.

According to Westrick, there’s been a lot of misinformation going around as well as confusion about the repairs.

“Initially they thought it was a city issue, and then they thought it was a public works issue, I had to correct that and say no it’s the environmental services department,” Westrick said.

“I’m glad it’s coming to an end. It’s something that wasn’t a huge deal, but it inconveniences you every time you leave the house.”

— Dylan Busby, 11

While many residents are upset or at the least inconvenienced by the blockage, there are no other options. 

“We have to follow Department of Transportation guidelines for maintenance traffic,” Westrick said. 

With the repairs nearing an end, many students who travel on Lockwood everyday or live near the repairs seem to be happy. 

Junior Dylan Busby, who lives on Lockwood Boulevard and drives his truck through the repairs, is looking forward to the construction’s end. 

“I’m glad it’s coming to an end. It’s something that wasn’t a huge deal, but it inconveniences you every time you leave the house,’ Busby said.

While Lockwood may be opening up in the near future, another main road leading to Hagerty is scheduled to have more underground maintenance. Old Lockwood Road is facing issues just south of Hagerty’s bus entrance stemming from a leak in a reclaim transmission main. With it being only two lanes, there will need to be someone redirecting traffic around the repairs. Fortunately, the section is not that deep and the repairs should only take a couple of days, meaning that both roads leading to Hagerty will be fully open in the near future.

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Isaiah Macri
Isaiah Macri, Staff Reporter
Isaiah Macri is a junior at Hagerty High School this is his first year on staff. Isaiah enjoys writing and is interested in history. He likes to travel and experience new places and cultures.
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