New pump station looks like a house
TAMPA - It is almost time to celebrate the grand opening of Tampa's first fake house. A stormwater pump station designed to fit in with other homes on Alline Avenue is slated for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning. "This fixes a longstanding flooding problem in South Tampa and has a positive impact on the quality of life for the residents who live there," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said. The project a few blocks off Bayshore Boulevard will have driveways in front and back, an asphalt shingle roof, a front and back porch, a fence, and landscaping in front. It will be 28-feet high and have a chimney.Those driving by the roughly 1,200-square-foot structure at 2921 W. Alline Ave. will think it is a house, the project's architect said. The property will have three interior rooms: a basic bathroom with a toilet, an electrical room that controls the pump, and a generator room where a backup generator resides. For years, Alline and nearby Coachman Avenue flooded after even an inch or two of rain. This project is designed to alleviate those issues. The pump station will affect about 5 square miles. The city began working on the station in June 2011. The cost, which includes everything from underground pipes to building the faux station: $4.8 million. The 34 homes on Alline range in value from $165,000 to $846,000, with an average value of $253,000, county property records showed late last year. The city paid $325,000 in July 2007 for the property, and the home there was removed in late 2007. The pumps near the building will be huge but underground. They are going to pump stormwater into Hillsborough Bay off Bayshore Boulevard, according to the architectural group involved with the project. Insulation and concrete inside the building have been added to make the station quiet, to the point where most people won't be able to hear it at all, the project's architect said.
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