A project that will leave Tavares’ Ruby Street paved in ruby-red bricks also is intended to boost downtown’s retail and entertainment businesses. The city’s Ruby Street Stormwater and Beautification project is moving toward an estimated February completion date, spokeswoman Mandy Wettstein says.
The estimated $5.3 million improvement plan includes a scenic walkable park with eight acres of stormwater treatment areas to improve the water quality of Lake Dora, which has been designated as an impaired lake by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The city also is replacing old drainage pipes along Ruby Street with a new stormwater collection pipe, and paving the street with hand-laid ruby-red bricks. Construction began in fall 2016.
The centerpiece will be the park, which city officials have called a unique, innovative, and cutting-edge project. It’s designed to reduce the flow of pollutants into Lake Dora through retention ponds, artificial wetland reefs, and bee mats, which are floating floral islands in the ponds.