Portion of West Morton To Receive Water Main Replacements Causing Traffic Disruption This Month

By Benjamin Cox on June 2, 2022 at 10:04am

A portion of West Morton Avenue will be a work zone for part of this summer as the City of Jacksonville replaces water mains.

Jamie Headen, Principal Civil Engineer with Benton & Associates updated the Jacksonville City Council on May 23rd about the city’s utility department’s effort to continuously update troublesome and old water mains throughout the city.

The council voted unanimously to approve a bid for work to update mains along a section of West Morton Avenue and one on Finley Street that have been problematic several times over the last five years: “We will be replacing water main on West Morton Avenue from Lincoln Avenue to about Prompt Care, in that range. Water main in that area has been breaking a lot over the wintertime. There have been many breaks in that spot so we are going to get that replaced, but also on Finley Street, as well. Then, we will potentially put Prospect Avenue on the list for future years depending upon the budget. This is part of Superintendent Rick Hearin’s yearly program of trying to get the water mains that need replaced the most, and get as much bang for the buck on the dollars we spend.”

Headen expects the work to begin later this month and be completed by September.

The City Council also approved a bid to resurface the Forrest Park area as well accepting a bid for the next step in the rehabilitation and renovations at Veterans Park.

Parks Superintendent Adam Fletcher says the next phase at Veterans Park will give better access to people and their pets: “This is a project that we started 3-4 years ago, and we’ve slowly been doing improvements in the park. In Phase I, we did a bunch of sidewalks throughout the park. Those were a big hit with people trying to get access to the park. This part of the project we are going to be improving the parking situation so that there is an actual parking area on the west end of the park. Then, we will be expanding the dog park that’s on the east side of the park to fill up a little bit of empty green space on that side of the park that’s not really used for anything else right now. With us just expanding that fence just a little bit, it’s going to almost double the size of that little dog run on that side of the park.”

Fletcher says moving forward the plan is to come up with ideas to update the playground and converting the old tennis courts into pickle ball courts.

Also at the May 23rd City Council meeting, the council approved the hire of two new patrol officers for the Jacksonville Police Department following the resignation of one officer and the retirement of another.

A probationary hoseman to fill an open position on the Jacksonville Fire Department was also approved, as well as a bid to purchase a new rescue truck. Fire Chief Doug Sills says the truck will be ready in 2023 and come out of the 2023 budget, but his department needed to go ahead and reserve the chassis and cab now due to supply chain issues so that it can be ready for delivery to the department next year.