The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is alerting boaters of a route closure that will impact travel along the southern part of Lake Okeechobee.
The Corps learned today that crews from Palm Beach County will conduct emergency maintenance on the Torrey Island Bridge which crosses Okeechobee Waterway Route 2 near Belle Glade. While the repairs are underway, crews will suspend operations of the swinging bridge, effectively closing the route to most vessels. Officials estimate impacts from the work will continue through the rest of March.
“During this period of emergency maintenance only small vessels, like bass boats, will be able to pass through this area using Route 2 or the Rim Canal,” said Carl Williams, Deputy Chief of the Jacksonville District’s South Florida Operations Office in Clewiston. “The bridge deck isn’t high enough to allow larger vessels to pass when it’s not operating. Okeechobee Waterway Route 1, which goes across the heart of the lake, remains open and isn’t impacted by this activity.”
The Okeechobee Waterway is 154 miles long and allows boaters to travel from the Gulf of Mexico at Fort Myers to the Atlantic Ocean at Stuart using the Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie Canal and the St. Lucie River. The Corps operates five lock and dam structures on the waterway daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with last lockage starting at 4:30 p.m.
A notice to navigation has been issued on this subject. For more information on navigation notices concerning the Okeechobee Waterway, please visit the Corps’ website at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Notices-to-Navigation/.
Release no. 17-008