Nearly 4 miles of new water transmission main were laid into the ground in Islamorada over the last eight months.
Since April, motorists rolling through Islamorada have noticed the orange cones, the shifts in traffic and the deep trenches where workers spent the days and weeks installing new 36-inch steel transmission lines — replacing a worn 30-inch main. With most of the work complete, FKAA says the traffic congestion will lessen some time after March. The project, however, will continue through 2025 with most tasks ahead.
Crews will work in 1,000-foot sections to install service pipes for the master meters and air relief valves. In addition, workers will begin to place 1,600 feet of transmission main south of Tea Table Crossing and the pipe into the ground across Whale Harbor Crossing via directional drilling.
FKAA’s first water main replacement project was funded with a $35 million grant and $7 million in low-interest loans.
With the initial pipe replacement project inching its way to completion, FKAA is preparing to install 8,250 feet of 36-inch water main on Windley Key from Whale Harbor to the south end of Snake Creek bridge. Work is scheduled to begin in April as motorists will experience similar rolling lane closures. FKAA said the work will pause for major holidays and events which tend to bring heavy traffic through Islamorada. Bike lanes will remain open, as will access driveways to all businesses.
The Windley Key project will cost about $15 million.