The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has signed an agreement with the State of Florida to accept an additional $50 million of state funds to help with rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee.
The agreement, known as a Contributed Funds Memorandum of Agreement, was signed today by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District Commander Col. Jason Kirk and Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein. A similar agreement was signed earlier this year, bringing the total State of Florida contributions to advance Herbert Hoover Dike construction to $100 million.
"The signing of this additional agreement truly exemplifies the strength of our federal-state partnership and our collective dedication to expediting rehabilitation efforts of the Herbert Hoover Dike and more broadly our ongoing collaboration on the restoration of America’s Everglades,” said Col. Jason Kirk, Jacksonville District Commander.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been undertaking a $1.8 billion rehabilitation program designed to reduce flood risk for people living and working around the lake. Since 2001, the Corps has invested more than $1 billion to construct several features that include installation of 21 miles of seepage barrier and replacement of close to two dozen water control structures.
DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein said, “Florida remains committed to looking for opportunities to partner with both the federal government and local communities to protect South Florida’s waterways, now and in the future. Thanks to Governor Scott’s commitment, Florida has invested a historic $100 million to jump-start critical repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike and make sure Florida’s families are safe.”
The State's contributions, along with federal funding, will continue to advance Herbert Hoover Dike construction with the award of addition cutoff wall construction contracts over the next year. The dike, due to the methods of construction at the time, is susceptible to seepage that can lead to erosion. The installation of the cut-off wall and replacement of water control structures is expected to reduce seepage thereby reducing risk for those who live and work in the area.
The Herbert Hoover Dike project also recently received $514 million in Supplemental Long Term Recovery Investment Plan funding to fully-fund the project and complete construction in 2022. Additionally, the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Study (LORS) revision efforts are underway, with the project team currently developing the plan of action to complete the study that will lead to an updated, more flexible water management schedule.
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Release no. 18-059