TOWN 'N COUNTRY - A meeting to discuss improvements to Hillsborough County's garbage transfer station on Linebaugh Avenue drew few residents, but that might not be surprising; the $9.4 million project has been in the works since at least 2005.
Wednesday night's public meeting at the Westchase Recreation Center was the latest in a series to discuss the transfer station to be built on the site of the existing one, 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave.
"This is actually the third public meting we've had on this project, so I think the public is aware of what the county is planning, said Michael Strully, an engineer with the county's public utilities department, and project manager. "Other meetings were held in the planning, then the engineering phases. What we wanted to do was have a meeting just prior to construction starting. That way the citizens can see what's going on," he said after the meeting.
Additionally, the project is not controversial, but one focused on safety of workers and the public, and efficiency of the transfer station, Strully added.
Construction is scheduled to begin in a couple of weeks and will continue for 15 months, until November 2014, county officials said.
A unique aspect of the project: A pre-engineered building will be placed over the existing one. Then the current building will be dismantled from within and removed. The transfer station will remain open for business during construction.
The transfer station, which serves north county communities, averages 670 tons of garbage daily, collected curb-side at residences and from bins behind offices and smaller retail businesses. At the transfer station, the garbage is loaded into tractor-trailers and transferred to the county Resource Recovery facility where it is burned to generate energy sold to local utilities.
The project is intended to greatly improve traffic flow at the site, which tends to become congested when many trucks arrive at the same time. Additionally, the project provides a larger tipping floor, the interior area where garbage is deposited, said Chris Kuzler of King Engineering Associates, which designed the county's other transfer station, in south Hillsborough.
In the past, delays caused by trucks waiting to dump garbage have blocked public access to the yard waste area, or on Linebaugh Avenue, officials said.
For those living near the site, the most obvious evidence of construction will be from pile-driving, needed to create a foundation for the new building. "We're anticipating nine to 10 weeks of pile-driving" during early stages of construction, Kuzler said, adding it will be restricted to the hours between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m..
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