The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, awarded the first Corps construction contract for the Central Everglades Planning Project Everglades Agricultural Area Phase reservoir, a key component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).
The Corps awarded Contract 10A for the first increment of work on the reservoir portion of the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) phase in Palm Beach County, Florida, on September 23, 2021 for $79,764,500. The contract calls for the construction of the reservoir inflow/outflow canal, seepage canal and maintenance road along the northern boundary of the proposed EAA Reservoir. Work on this contract is anticipated to be completed by Phillips & Jordan, Inc. from Knoxville, Tennessee by the end of 2023 depending on conditions in the field.
“Yesterday we were really proud to award the first Corps contract for construction of portions of the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir. This is an important component of the Central Everglades Planning Project, a part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan that is the foundation for restoring the central portion of the Everglades ecosystem and sending additional water south,” said Col. James Booth, Jacksonville District Commander. “When completed we will have built a 240,000 acre-foot reservoir covering approximately 16-square miles – an area similar to the cities of Stuart and Fort Myers put together. Another way to think of the magnitude of this massive civil works project is that it will store a volume similar to about a half a foot on Lake Okeechobee. This reservoir will store water that today is lost to tide, so that it can be treated by the Stormwater Treatment Area our partner South Florida Water Management District is currently building and by existing state STAs. That water will then move south to the central Everglades, Everglades National Park, and Florida Bay.”
"CEPP is the ‘heart’ of Everglades restoration. It focuses on the restoration of more natural flows into and through the central and southern Everglades by increasing storage, treatment and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee; removing canals and levees within the central Everglades and retaining water within Everglades National Park,” said Senior Project Manager Chrissie Figueroa. “This CEPP EAA reservoir construction contract represents the culmination of years of interagency planning and coordination with our partners at the South Florida Water Management District, stakeholders and members of the public in an effort to 'get the water right' -- improving the quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of water."
The CEPP EAA Reservoir Contract 10A includes the following features:
- Construction of an Inflow/Outflow Canal,
- Construction of a Seepage Canal,
- Construction of a Maintenance road, and
- Widening of the A-1 Flow Equalization Basin levee road.
“The contractor is expected to mobilize at the CEPP EAA Contract 10A site in November,” said Figueroa. “We hope to maintain the momentum on this keystone project throughout the next several fiscal years if Congressional appropriations can be maintained to support the effort. We currently have an ambitious schedule to award additional construction contracts for the EAA Reservoir in coming years.”
The total cost of the CEPP EAA phase, which is scheduled for completion in 2029, is estimated at $3.5 Billion.
The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan outlines the projects for returning the lifeblood of the Everglades – water – to its historic quantity, quality, timing and distribution. The overarching objective of the Plan is the restoration, preservation, and protection of the south Florida ecosystem while providing for other water-related needs of the region, including water supply and flood protection.
For more information on the CEPP EAA Reservoir Project and the scope of work visit: www.saj.usace.army.mil/CEPPEAA
For more information on Ecosystem Restoration, visit the Jacksonville District website at www.saj.usace.army.mil/EcosystemRestoration