With the rainy season just a few months away, Tampa is resurrecting a plan to address some of the worst flooding in the city. The current plan is to alleviate most of the flooding issues with $250 million in drainage and sewer improvements. Last summer saw some of the worst flooding in years in South and West Tampa, as rain fell on the city for 11 straight days. Some businesses could not open because workers and customers could not get through flooded streets. The most expensive project is a $75 million plan to manage extensive flooding issues in South Tampa north of MacDill and south of Euclid Avenue. The city is also implementing a $40 million plan that includes construction of box culverts and canal upgrades to alleviate flooding at notorious spots like Dale Mabry Highway and Henderson Boulevard. Another $40 million is expected to go toward construction of a major box culvert on Cass and Cypress streets to resolve flooding in areas west of the Hillsborough River and south of Columbus Drive.
Other Improvement Projects in the region: The City of Ocala is working to improve the health of Silver Springs, the Silver River and its tributaries through a new program that will eliminate a limited number of septic tanks throughout Marion County. The goal of this new Septic Tank Well Elimination Program is to reduce pollutants – most importantly, Total Nitrogen (TN) – that is discharged to Silver Springs, through the abandonment of septic tank systems. The inputs to the river are associated with algal blooms and fish kills. The Septic Tank Well Elimination Program is one of several components to meet mandates required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Nearly 500 property owners in the northeast and southwest areas around the spring have been notified. Their tanks are thought to have the greatest effect on the spring.