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The Villages

New CDD 7 supervisor presses PWAC on path worries and sunken bridge

Stephen Lapp

A new supervisor in Community Development District 7 pressed fellow Project Wide Advisory Committee members Monday on worries about multi-modal paths south of State Road 44 and a sunken golf course bridge.

Supervisor Steve Lapp was sitting in for CDD 7’s primary PWAC representative, Jerry Vicenti, and made his presence known by raising uncomfortable topics. Lapp was appointed to the CDD 7 board in late July and at the time of his appointment PWAC dominated the discussion among the applicants.

During an update on capital projects, PWAC members learned that the budgeted $170,500 replacement of a bridge at the Mangrove Executive Golf Course has been put on hold due to high water levels. The project is aimed at raising the bridge 18 inches due to repeated flooding.

Lapp asked some pointed questions about the design and construction of the bridge, which dates back to 2013.

The bridge at at the 4th hole of Mangrove Executive Golf Course is frequently under water.

“Perhaps this bridge was approved and built without consideration to the flood plain. Was the flood plain evaluated prior to that bridge being built?” he asked.

He was told that part of the problem with the bridge is the soil on which it was originally built.

“The soil should have been taken into account at the time the bridge was built,” Lapp snapped back.

A lengthy discussion of the Mangrove bridge had taken place back in August when PWAC approved a $141,348 bid for the project, and it was clear it was not a topic PWAC members cared to resurrect.

“The bridge was built to the best design that was known at the time. We own it now,” said Don Wiley, who represents Community Development District 10 on PWAC.

Lapp also pushed for a renewed debate of the sloughing of the embankment of the Morse Boulevard bridge at Lake Sumter. PWAC members have long been weary of that topic and the discussion ended abruptly.

“That’s enough of that,” said PWAC Chairman Peter Moeller, bringing it to a screeching halt.

Lapp also stubbornly pushed for discussion of the multi-modal paths south of State Road 44, an item that was not on the agenda. He gained more traction on that topic.

Last week, a Village of Bradford resident went before the Community Development District 13 Board of Supervisors and raised concerns about a section of the multi-modal path between the Village of Bradford and the Village of Chitty Chatty. The resident predicted that due to a sharp turn in the path, a golf cart could end up in a nearby retention pond, particularly if it was dark or the driver was unfamiliar with the area.

Villagers are concerned that a golf cart driver could miss this curve and end up in a retention pond between the Village of Bradford and the Village of Chitty Chatty.

“When I am driving on that path and if I miss that curve by that swampy area, what is the liability issue?” asked Duane Johnson, a Community Development District 8 supervisor.

PWAC members agreed that such safety concerns could be addressed with raised pavement markings, known as RPMs.

Back in 2016, PWAC embarked on a project to significantly improve markings and reflectors. PWAC members agree it was money well spent.

A yellow wishbone and reflectors were put down in 2016 at an island on a section of multi-modal path in The Villages. The project was aimed at improving safety.

“RPMs north of 44 have been a great asset,” said Moeller, who represents Community Development District 6.

A thornier topic was the lack of ribbon-curbing along the sides of the multi-modal paths south of State Road 44.

A golf cart travels on the path in the Village of Chitty Chatty.

“There are many places already where you can see the asphalt starting to crack. It’s going to be a long-term problem,” Wiley said.

However, the chairman pointed out the multi-modal paths are owned by the CDDs and not PWAC, although PWAC oversees joint infrastructure south of County Road 466.

“Ribbon-curbing is a CDD 12 and 13 issue and not a PWAC issue,” Moeller said.

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