County requests appropriations for Crystal Lake Drive project

CRYSTAL LAKE – Washington County Board of County Commissioners have requested state appropriations to pay for the Crystal Lake Environmental Mitigation Project. The project will include improvements to Crystal Lake Drive in the form of .9 miles of new asphalt and improvements for drainage, such as culverts and headwalls.

Commissioners say these improvements will greatly reduce sediment runoff into the lake itself and result in a safer roadway for residents along Crystal Lake Drive.

Crystal Lake is directly connected to the Florida Aquifer, but there is no discharge. This leads to sediment plumes which cause the usually crystal-clear waters to become cloudy.  Erosion of the current roadway has been a years-long issue for residents and for county road maintenance.

After much research, the county determined the only way to fix the issue was to pave the roadway and to reduce erosion and stabilize the slopes.

County Administrator Jeff Massey says the county is eager to get started on the project.

“The Board is looking forward to making the improvements at Crystal Lake that will benefit a community that is long overdue.” said Massey. “These improvements, while they benefit residents, is also for the integrity of this great natural resource in Washington County.”

The request for appropriations totals $1,052,928 with the county putting forth a match of $40,000. Senator George Gainer is the Senate sponsor for the request. There is no word yet of when the appropriations decision will be made.

Look for updates in the Washington County News as this project continues to develop.