The South Florida Water Management District has approved a contract authorizing the start of early construction on the massive Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir project.
The work is a precursor for achieving water storage benefits before the entire reservoir is complete.
“While just the first step in construction of the reservoir, this work is crucial to making tangible improvements in the health of the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Daniel O’Keefe. “This is yet another example of the recent progress that is being made on restoration projects throughout our region.”
The $10.8 million contract awarded to Blue Goose Construction, LLC, begins the first phase of work on the reservoir. The contract includes:
- Demolishing existing agricultural features such as buried pipes, culverts, irrigation pump stations and above-ground facilities across the 10,000-acre reservoir site;
- Construction of 7 compacted, above-ground earthfill mounds reaching 56 feet high at select locations to help compact the ground to support future structures;
- Moving approximately 1.8 million cubic yards of fill for the mounds, enough to fill 1 acre of land to a height of 1,100 feet, or 120 feet higher than the Eiffel Tower;
- Preparation of the foundation for construction of the 16-mile dam that will surround the reservoir.
The work is the first step for the SFWMD to undertake expediting construction of the facility as part of Governor Rick Scott’s commitment to South Florida ecosystem restoration.
The project as a whole is a joint effort between the District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).