Laurie Sanderson reported to Historic City News that last week the Florida Department of Transportation began a project to re-establish a wetland along SR-16 at Lewis Speedway.
The construction activities include removing soil and silt that has built up over time, then building a small berm near the water to temporarily prevent water from filling into the area until saltwater-tolerant vegetation can be planted and established.
“The purpose of this project is to re-establish the saltwater wetland that nature once created,” Sanderson told reporters. “Rebuilding the wetlands is consistent with the FDOT mission to preserve the quality of our environment.”
Once established, the Department will monitor the area for three years to make sure the plants establish and thrive. Thereafter, a portion of the berm is being removed to allow for natural tidal flow. The wetland is expected to maintain itself.
During construction, the right turn lane onto Lewis Speedway and the sidewalk along the north side of the roadway may be closed while a driveway is constructed.
Motorists should also be aware of the construction equipment in the area. Through traffic on SR-16 will not encounter lane closures.
Maer Construction of Orange Park will complete the project in approximately two months, barring unforeseen conditions such as bad weather. Construction costs are $75,903. Environmental Resource Solutions, Inc. will take over the planting once Maer Construction has completed the silt removal and berm construction.