TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Yards are torn up, dirt is piled up and heavy machinery is at work on Averill Avenue in South Tampa.
“There have been power lines out, water lines knocked out, utilities, mailboxes knocked down, people coming before work hours are loud, using machinery,” Elisa Ashby said.
The City of Tampa says the work is part of the Lower Peninsula Stormwater Improvement project.
The project was approved by the city in 2016 and will have a number of benefits.
The city lists a number of improvements the project will provide:
- Reduction of flooding in the mostly residential areas within the watershed
- Reduction of pollutants loading into Hillsborough Bay through water quality enhancements and green infrastructure
- Restore, enhance, and preserve the natural environment of MacDill 48 Park to improve wildlife habitation and reduce the hazard of brush fires
- Passive park amenities within the MacDill 48 Park, including nature and bike trails and other passive park improvements
But for Elisa Ashby, all the residents see right now is dust and dirt, and all they hear at odd hours of the day is noise.
“Now we just found out today they are going to be doing work 24/7 because they are going to be shutting Bayshore down, so they are going to be 24/7 working with machinery for about two weeks,” Ashby said.
A City of Tampa Spokesperson confirmed the contractor will be working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the next two weeks to finish the work as quickly as possible to disrupt the smallest number of people.
That’s not good news for Ashby and her neighbors.
“Well, I don’t think it should be 24/7 work,” she said. “I mean, they can extend the work hours, but I think it’s unfair. I don’t think anyone would want to have work done 24/7 for two weeks possibly.”
After the city was contacted by 8 On Your Side, the city offered to provide hotel rooms for people directly impacted by the project, and they will work with residents to help them.