A wide photo of the West Bridgers Avenue work zone

For several years, the City of Auburndale and Polk County have planned and collaborated to make road and stormwater improvements to the west end of Bridgers Avenue. To make these necessary improvements, the two agencies have been preparing a joint project. On August 19, 2019, the Auburndale City Commission voted to approve $365,679.50 for stormwater improvements on the City-maintained portion of West Bridgers Avenue. The scope of work includes improvements to the road, realignment of the intersection just west of Eaker Street, new retention areas and replacement of old, undersized stormwater infrastructure. This remediation aims to reduce flooding in the area, which has been an issue during periods of heavy rainfall.

A diagram of the approved stormwater drainage system for West Bridgers Avenue.

This first phase of construction began on Monday, December 16, 2019. It is expected to take at least 3 months to complete. There are traffic signs placed in the area to help motorists on Bridgers Avenue navigate around the work zone. The expected impact on the main road from the work being done is minimal. Residents who do live along the City-maintained portion of West Bridgers Avenue will be accommodated during this phase of the project so that their trash, mail, and utility services are not disrupted due to the work. Access to Lake Lena Boulevard will be routed via Eaker Street and Virginia Avenue while construction is ongoing.

Polk County is leading the second phase of construction. On June 18, 2019, the Board of County Commissioners approved $302,500.00 for the purchase of three parcels of land that were determined to be ideal for the construction of a retention pond along Bridgers Avenue. Old, unmaintained buildings that sat on those parcels of land have since been demolished. The County is currently finalizing the scope of work and design that will be necessary to accomplish the goals established for the west end of Bridgers Avenue. The second phase of construction is expected to start in the Spring or Summer of 2020.