You Paid For It: Tampa fixing paving problem that triggered Zika fears

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa public works crew is fixing a city-contracted paving job in Davis Islands that left lingering puddles in the streets and became breeding grounds for tadpoles and mosquitoes — fueling fears among neighborhood moms about the Zika virus.

“Of course, yeah, it was actually because it was in the middle of my pregnancy when everything broke down,” said Lubana Massis. She’s the mother of a toddler who was puhsing her stroller past the road construction Thursday.

Tampa’s Director of Transportation and Stormwater Services Jean Duncan promised to fix the problem back in October, and now a city crew is doing just that.

“This should drain a lot better, of course, it’s impossible to get rid of every little spot of water which is a convenient home for our tadpoles,” Duncan said. “But it will be a much better improved, much better drainage and we certainly hope we won’t have any problems with the Zika going forward.”

The original paving project about two years ago cost Tampa taxpayers $1.8 million, but Duncan says the elevation repairs that city crews are putting in place to restore proper drainage are not under warranty.

“It’s in-house cost of our time and our asphalt product probably around $3000 if we added it all up right now,” she said.

Duncan said the city is using the project to test a new piece of heavy equipment her department is thinking about buying called a “zipper” so there is no charge to taxpayers for that.

“We hope the public feels their tax dollars are being handled in a good way,” Duncan said. “We’re ready to proceed now and taking care of that situation and looking forward to having some happy customers.”

“No more mosquitoes and no more tadpoles now if I get pregnant again I’ll be fine,” Massis said.

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