The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, has concluded that no significant impacts to the environment will result from a proposal for additional embankment repairs on Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD) surrounding Lake Okeechobee.
The finding is contained in an environmental assessment report prepared by the Corps this spring. It focused on a proposal to extend embankment repairs in a six-mile area between Lake Harbor and Belle Glade on the south side of the lake. A draft document was made available for a 60-day public review, which ended in May.
“This finding clears the way for additional investigations and detailed design work to begin,” said Tim Willadsen, Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation project manager. “Our goal is to be in a position to award a contract on these embankment repairs in 2017.”
The proposed work would complete repairs in what’s known as Common Inundation Zone A, which runs the length of the dike between Lake Harbor and Port Mayaca. If construction started in 2017, it would likely take between two and three years to complete the work.
The proposed repairs are in addition to the ongoing work to replace 26 water control structures around the dike; 16 of which are current under contract with construction on the remaining 10 expected to start at various points over the next three years.
“These additional repairs would help realize the full benefits of the work we completed from 2007 to 2013 between Belle Glade and Port Mayaca when we installed a partially penetrating cutoff wall in the dike,” said Willadsen. “This is all part of an investment that has exceeded $500 million over the past eight years.”