The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has awarded its second contract in the last two weeks to replace water control structures within Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD), the earthen dam surrounding Lake Okeechobee in south Florida.
The Corps awarded the contract on Thursday (September 24) for $16.1 million to Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. of Sunrise, Fla. The contract calls for replacement of Culvert 6 (S-267) along the Kissimmee River (C-38) on the north side of the lake near the city of Okeechobee. Work on this project is expected to be complete in 2018.
“With this award, we have now taken action to address 21 of the 32 federally-owned water control structures around the lake,” said Tim Willadsen, Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Project Manager. “Replacing these structures reduces the risk of dike failure at these locations as these structures are currently seen as the weakest link in the Herbert Hoover Dike system.”
Since 2007, the Corps has invested more than $550 million in dike rehabilitation. Other risk-reduction measures include installation of a partially penetrating cutoff wall between Port Mayaca and Belle Glade, the filling of a quarry near Pahokee, and removal of vegetation on the dike.
Hebert Hoover Dike spans 143 miles around Lake Okeechobee, the second largest freshwater lake completely within the United States. The dike was constructed following devastating hurricanes that killed more than 2,500 people in 1926 and 1928.