Bill Young Reservoir renovation nears completion - WNCN: News, Weather

Bill Young Reservoir renovation nears completion

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The Bill Young Regional Reservoir. The Bill Young Regional Reservoir.
The Bill Young Regional Reservoir. The Bill Young Regional Reservoir.
The Bill Young Regional Reservoir. The Bill Young Regional Reservoir.
The Bill Young Regional Reservoir. The Bill Young Regional Reservoir.
The Bill Young Regional Reservoir. The Bill Young Regional Reservoir.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

It cost you about $125 million. Its stair-stepped walls are rebuilt with a slightly stronger soil cement mixture.

And, if the Florida Department of Environmental Protection gives the green light, Tampa Bay Water will be ready to start filling the 15-billion gallon Bill Young Regional Reservoir.

According to Tampa Bay Water Chief Operating Officer Charles Carden, a key element to this reservoir renovation is the new drainage system. Nine inches of rock that lies beneath the stair stepped soil cement walls.

"That goes around the entire perimeter of the five miles and continuously lets water out to be able to maintain the pressure of the water inside the reservoir and the water below the soil cement," Carden said.

Engineers believe it was water pressure behind the interior walls and the inability for water to drain that cause gaping cracks and holes in the walls, just a year after the reservoir opened in 2005.

In August 2007, cameras on Eagle 8 captured video of crews using fire hoses to patch massive cracks. They pumped a mixture of concrete and grout into crevasses that were as long as football fields.

According to project manager Amanda Rice, at the time, nothing out of the ordinary.

"This is a routine maintenance activity like is conducted at all Tampa Bay Water facilities," Rice said.

It was hardly routine. And the patch job did not hold.

More than a year later, Tampa Bay Water's board of directors decided to take action. It sued the reservoir's engineer HDR and lost.

So, you paid the tab for the massive renovation that began approximately 17 months ago.

According to Carden the project is ahead of schedule and under budget.

"The main difference with this reservoir renovation is the contractor that we brought on board is going to stay after he's done and finally completes construction. He is in charge of the maintenance and the monitoring for an additional five years," Carden said.

He points out the contractor, the Kiewit Infrastructure Group, provided a letter of credit, a warranty bond and a guarantee that for a five year period if anything goes, wrong Kiewit will fix it.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

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