As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, continues to work towards bringing the Kissimmee River Restoration project to completion, navigation closures will remain in effect to accommodate ongoing construction activities.
Navigational closures are currently in effect on the Kissimmee River north of the U.S. Highway 98 Bridge for 6.5 miles, reported the Corps.
“We are currently backfilling 6.5 miles of the C-38 Canal and removing the S-65C lock in order to restore the natural flow of water in the adjacent historic Kissimmee River,” said April Patterson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District project manager. “Navigation in this area will remain closed for the duration of construction to ensure the safety of workers on-site as well as boaters along the Kissimmee River.”
Backfilling operations began in fall 2016 as part of the Reach 2 Backfill construction contract. Completion of this work will enable water to flow into the meandering oxbows and restore the natural flow of the Kissimmee River. It is anticipated that backfilling operations will be completed by August 2018.
The Kissimmee River Restoration project is one of the many ongoing projects currently underway by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District, to restore America’s Everglades.
Once completed, the Kissimmee River Restoration project will restore the channelized river back to its natural meandering pattern and provide 130,000 acre-feet of natural floodplain storage. This will slow the flow of water from the Kissimmee Basin into Lake Okeechobee, thereby slowing down the rise in the lake that often results in high-volume discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. To date, continuous flow has been restored to 28 miles of the Kissimmee River.