The St. Johns River Water Management District has completed several critical steps to ensure that the Eau Gallie River dredging project stays on schedule.
On September 8, the District’s Governing Board approved an agreement with Brevard County to obtain temporary easements to use county property for transfer and storage of dredge material during the planned cleanup of the Eau Gallie River.
The Board also approved a contract amendment with Taylor Engineering, Inc., the firm hired to design and facilitate permitting of the project, as well as managing construction.
The amendment increases the agreement with Taylor by $719,000 for additional pipeline design work, construction management and related tasks.
The Board’s actions follow two significant milestones in August.
On August 25, the Melbourne City Council unanimously approved zoning for construction of a temporary 53-acre muck landfill that will be used to store the dredge material.
Two weeks earlier, the District’s Governing Board approved an agreement that increased project funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection from $10 million to $20 million, as the result of an additional $10 million legislative appropriation.
The project calls for removing 625,000 cubic yards of organic matter known as “muck” from the main channel of the Eau Gallie River in Melbourne and Elbow Creek, a tributary of the Eau Gallie River.
The project will remove approximately 1,200 tons of total nitrogen and 260 tons of total phosphorus, which are contained within the muck deposits. Muck can contribute to algal blooms, create bottom conditions detrimental to organisms vital to the lagoon’s aquatic food chain and clog navigation channels.
The District anticipates starting construction of the dredge material management area at the landfill site early next year. Dredging is scheduled to begin in summer 2016 and will wrap up by spring 2018. The landfill will then be restored and reseeded by December 2018.