Staff with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, continue to report no significant issues of concern following inspections of the Herbert Hoover Dike that surrounds Lake Okeechobee in south Florida.
“The safety of the people living and working around Lake Okeechobee remains our highest priority,” said Col. Jason Kirk, Jacksonville District Commander. “We will continue to conduct inspections daily on the south side of the dike as long as the lake remains above 17 feet.”
USACE continues work to rehabilitate the dike. Since 2001, the agency has invested more than $900 million in features to reduce the risk to communities surrounding the lake.
This includes installation of a 21-mile seepage barrier (also known as a partial cutoff wall) along the southeast part of the dike and work to replace 26 water control structures at various locations around the lake.
“Our inspectors are reporting improved performance in the area where we’ve installed the seepage barrier,” said Kirk. “We look forward to resuming installation of additional cutoff wall west of Belle Glade in 2018. It is proving effective in reducing seepage.”
Additionally, Jacksonville District engineers and biologists also continue work on ecosystem restoration in south Florida. The Corps awarded the final contract for Kissimmee River Restoration in September and work continues on the C-44 Reservoir component of the Indian River Lagoon-South project.