Dogwood Mountain Updates

Dogwood Mountain Reserve Ribbon Cutting Event

February 15, 2019

Dogwood Mountain Reserve Reconstruction is complete!

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 19, 2019 at Magnolia Ending.

Press Release (PDF)

December 19, 2018

September 28, 2018 Update


  1. The contractor is back on the job, having taken delivery of the stormwater structures and will continue on through completion.
  2. The contractor projects substantial completion on October 26th or earlier. Substantial completion means that all construction is done or virtually done. There still might be some cleanup, demobilization, minor corrections and administrative work.
  3. Throughout this project, the DMR residents have been unable to access their stormwater retention pond for regular mowing and trimming. Consequently, it has become overgrown. The City will have a landscape crew restore the retention area after substantial completion for the residents to resume their regular maintenance.

July 13, 2018

GSI has completed work on the engineered wall. They are awaiting the arrival of prefabricated stormwater structures for work to continue. The new stormwater design has a greater capacity than the existing system. That will decrease the probability of catastrophic flooding. The redesigned system also will reroute the flow of water through a series of inlet structures, which serve as calming devices for flowing water. That will reduce the energy of the flowing water coming out of the pipe. The face of the wall will be planted with ivy vines to give it a natural verdant appearance. Also yet to be done are the new utilities, roadway and sidewalk. We are especially grateful to the residents of Dogwood Mountain Reserve for their continued good-will and patience.

June 22, 2018

GSI has completed drilling the soil nails into the embankment and stabilizing it with shot Crete. They are placing the gabion baskets which form the bulwark of the retaining wall and backfilling it with rock and soil. So far, we are pleased with our progress and hope to get the job completed within the estimated time.

Work at 441
overhead Work at 441
Ground Work at 441

June 15, 2018

June 8, 2018

June 1, 2018

We are happy to announce that GSI has arrived and they've started working at Dogwood Mountain.  The Contractor has mobilized with equipment, materials and sub-contract crew to initiate repair as planned.  The rain has slowed progress on the site but the crews will continue to work.

equip mobilization 3
equip mobilization 2
equip mobilization 1

May 25, 2018

Regional Director for Senator Marco Rubio, Thomas Self, visited the site on Thursday, May 24.

May 18, 2018

GSI set a firm date for May 30 to be on site. They will order materials for the project and it’s possible residents might see some material deliveries next week (before Memorial Day). GSI’s priority is to stabilize the embankment where the landslide took place. As such, their first step will be driving “soil nails,” long steel rods into the embankment at a near-horizontal angle and installing a steel mesh to support the face of the soil. These will stabilize the soil against vertical shearing while they work to erect the wall. Duke Energy will be onsite next week to de-energize electrical lines in the construction zone and install temporary service. This should not affect electric service to anyone in the subdivision except at the 455 address. They will reroute the temporary service overhead until permanent service lines are in place. Duke is working on plans to install permanent service either in concert with this project or after the project is completed. That is still developing. Pegasus Engineering is completing final plans for the civil engineering portion of the project.

On May 24th, a staff member from U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s office will be in Mount Dora to review the site of the disaster. We are very grateful to Senator Rubio for his fast response to our appeal for help.

May 4, 2018

Mark Rudowske, Public Works Director

March 14, 2018

FEMA is conducting an on-site analysis of the area and will be providing their results and reports back to our Public Works Department soon.

February 3, 2018 Update:

  • In mid-December, our consultant, Pegasus Engineering, submitted an extensive package to the Federal United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for possible 75% Federal Funding for the embankment repairs. That report received a favorable review at the local level and was forwarded to the funding folks at the national level. We do not anticipate hearing back on the funding until early February.
  • We continue to monitor the situation at Magnolia Ending on a near daily basis.
  • On January 25th, we met with the SJRWMD regarding permit requirements and wetland cleanup / mitigation. The meeting went as well as we could have hoped. The plans as developed to date will not require any new permits. The wetlands will need to be cleaned up to within 6 to 12 inches of the original ground surface and no wetland mitigation will be required.
  • With a definitive direction from SJRWMD, I have requested that Pegasus provide a full Scope of Service for their work going forward. We will bring that Scope to City Council for approval.
  • We plan to conduct another Neighborhood Meeting in mid-February to inform the residents of our progress.

It should be noted that we are very mindful of the impending “rain” season beginning in May / June, so time is of the essence.

December 18,2017 - Update from Public Works

The City is pursuing federal funding for the Dogwood Mountain Reserve project. Pegasus Engineering submitted a request for funding on the City’s behalf to U.S.D.A. We are awaiting their approval before any work can begin. This will delay construction start-up beyond the projected January 2018 date. We will update you further as developments occur.

Follow up questions asked on December 19, 2017

Here are some questions that come to mind -- they might have/will be asked already but just in case.....

1. When is it anticipated that the work will start? It is only said that it will not start in January (4 month mark is 1-10-2018)

2. When will the City start the work without this funding source if the time goes too long? What is that date that it is 'too long'?

3. Is there another source of funding that can be tapped and if so when could the work be done with that funding?

Overall -- what is the timeframe on getting things done?

  • Once we receive word from the USDA as to the availability and approval of Federal Funding for this project, we can proceed to construction.
  • We are all aware of the “rain” season starting in June. As such, the City and USDA are working diligently to have work substantially completed by that date.
  • The only other source of funding is FEMA reimbursement.


November 21, 2017 Update from Public Works:

The Mount Dora Public Works and Utilities Dept. met this morning with Pegasus Engineering, GeoStabilization International, Southeastern Surveying, Geotechnical and Environmental Consultants, Inc. and Foshee Construction Co. on the DMR project. The project engineer is breaking down the job into two phases. Phase 1 is the immediate stabilization and backfill of the collapsed area. Phase 2 is less urgent and will involve the street and right-of-way improvements, utilities improvements and a review of the retention pond.

Phase 1 will commence with a survey of the area and soil borings. Pegasus Engineering will coordinate with SJRWMD, NRCS and FEMA public assistance through this phase. Residents will see activity on the site from the surveyor and geotechnical team in December. They may expect to see the contractor beginning mobilization on the site the first week of January. The contractor and City will work with property owners surrounding the site for approval to access the site from their properties with their equipment. So, things will really begin to ramp up in early January.

Phase 2 will be under development while phase 1 is ongoing. We want to make sure that when the project is done that the utilities and the street are in better condition than before the catastrophe. We will review the pond design. If it is determined that improvements are warranted, that will be done under phase 2 also.

November 7, 2017 Update from Public Works:

In discussions with David Hamstra of Pegasus, we agreed to meet with the contractor on this project next week to coordinate the activities of all parties next week throughout the design, permitting, construction and restoration of the wetlands. This will insure that only one firm is providing a specific service when each of them provide more detailed Scopes of Services for consideration by City Council. In addition, it was agreed that the other utilities (Duke, telephone, cable, etc.) will be invited to attend this meeting. Once the Scopes are submitted, we proceed with drafting the appropriate Council Report for approval.

Minutes from the 10-24-2017 Meeting