USACE marks Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation project completion with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District
Published Jan. 25, 2023
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District (USACE) hosted a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate completion of construction for the Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation in Clewiston, Florida.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District (USACE) hosted a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate completion of construction for the Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation in Clewiston, Florida.

CLEWISTION, Fla.-The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate completion of construction for the Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation project.

“Safety is our number one priority. The goal of this project is to protect human life while reducing the risks of impact to the way of life, the economy, and the environment of the communities

around the lake,” said Col. James Booth, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District Commander. “This construction project has been a monumental undertaking that started in 2005. Corps team members and construction contractors, as well as the supporting staff from Federal, Tribal and State agencies, have dedicated a significant part of their careers to this project, and I thank them for their efforts.”

“They brought a high-priority risk-reduction project to completion three years ahead of the target date of 2025, under an aggressive schedule,” said Booth. “The Herbert Hoover Dike has never been in better shape than it is right now. That is great news for the lakeside communities. The Brighton Reservation and the cities of Clewiston, South Bay, Belle Glade, Pahokee, Okeechobee, and Moore Haven are safer and more protected than they have ever been. These communities are why we restored the dike. Because of our collective efforts, Herbert Hoover Dike is now better suited to protect lakeside communities for many years to come. Thank you for your support over the years. We all have much to celebrate.”

Because of our collective efforts, Herbert Hoover Dike is now better suited to protect lakeside communities for many years to come. Thank you for your support over the years. We all have much to celebrate.”

“Today we celebrate the timely completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation project, significantly increasing protection for the people of this region for decades to come. This was a massive project and success would not have been achieved without the partnerships of so many in this area,” said Michael L. Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “While we mark this monumental achievement, we know much work remains to be done for Everglades restoration and building resilience in South Florida. Fortunately, the Biden administration has committed over $1 billion to South Florida Ecosystem Restoration from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and made record budget requests to support ongoing progress for the region and deliver on our commitments.”

“The completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike is welcome news for the State of Florida,” said South Florida Water Management District Chairman Chauncey Goss. “Today’s ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation marks an important day in our history as Florida continues to be at the forefront of our nation’s ecosystem restoration, flood protection and resiliency efforts. We appreciate our partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Jacksonville District for working to harden the region’s infrastructure to benefit the communities surrounding Lake Okeechobee and South Florida’s water resources.”

“This day marks a long history of the end of significant risk, change and achievement,” said Adam Gelber, Director of the Department of the Interior’s Office of Everglades Restoration Initiatives. “It is a day to honor those who lost their lives during previous flooding events, to celebrate the clear and continued commitment of the federal government in protecting Floridians and to the Jacksonville District for the leadership in developing the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual.”

Senator Rick Scott said, "It's a great honor to finally celebrate the ribbon cutting of the Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation. Fixing the Dike is crucial for water quality in the Everglades and surrounding estuaries, which is why, as Governor, I was the first governor to fight for and secure $100 million in state funds to speed up repairs to the federally-operated Dike and worked tirelessly to receive a commitment from the Trump administration that the federal government would expedite and prioritize this important project. Throughout my time as Florida's U.S. Senator, I've worked to build on these efforts by fighting for and securing an unprecedented one billion dollars for Everglades restoration, the largest single amount ever allocated by the federal government. I'm also working to make sure that every dollar of this funding will go toward the most critical projects that build on our restoration efforts and provide a good return on investment for Floridians and all American taxpayers. I'll keep fighting to protect our environment so future residents and visitors can enjoy all that Florida has to offer."

“Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, who was the co-chairman and co-founder of the Everglades Caucus, remains committed, along with national and local officials, to ensuring that projects like the HHD are adequately funded and completed” said Annette Hernandez, Director of Outreach for Representative Mario Diaz-Balart.

“Just so proud today to see the Herbert Hoover Dike Projects coming to substantial completion. This is the culmination of a number of years of extremely hard work by hundreds of contractors and subcontractors throughout the region, throughout the world for that matter. And thousands of employees who have just been getting after it here in the lake area,” said the Chair of The County Coalition for Responsible Management of Lake Okeechobee, St. Lucie and the Caloosahatchee Estuaries, and the Lake Worth Lagoon, Hendry County Commissioner Karson Turner. This project is absolutely amazing when you start looking at it in scope and size, and then when you also reflect back on how many governments had to come together, not just from the local level, but also state and federal, to really put the gas into the engine to make this culmination come together. It’s nothing short of amazing. I’m so proud to be a part of it. So, we’re excited about this, and this is a wonderful day for the lake region and the entire state of Florida.”

“The Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation and stabilization project has been a huge blessing for the City of Clewiston,” said Clewiston Mayor,  James Pittman,  “This project’s success is due to the Army Corps of Engineers and its contractor’s diligence and commitment to excellence. It’s this dedication from the Army Corps which protects people and property, one community at a time. We are honored to be a part of this project; Thank you US Army Corps of Engineers.”

“The completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike project along Lake Okeechobee; which is a great asset to this region of Florida, will bring renewed desire for economic development in our city,” said Mayor Joe Kyles of the City of South Bay. “As the requirement for flood insurance and associated cost for commercial construction is reduced, investment in South Bay will become more attractive.”

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s work to secure the Herbert Hoover Dike will have far-reaching benefits for South Florida’s residents and economy. The dike will provide flood protection for local communities and it will allow Lake Okeechobee’s water to, finally, be managed to provide aid across the watershed,” said Eric Eikenberg, Chief Executive Officer of The Everglades Foundation. “The strengthened dike enables the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) to, not only, send needed water south to the Everglades and Florida Bay in the dry season, but it will also reduce the harmful discharges to the east and west coasts during the wet season. The Everglades Foundation thanks the Corps for its work to protect Florida’s communities and environment.”

“This structure has withstood powerful storms for decades, but with tens of thousands of people living in its shadow, an upgrade to modern standards was long overdue,” said U.S. Sugar Vice President for Strategic Environmental Affairs Michael Ellis. “Thanks to the hard work of the men and women of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, farmers and all of our local residents now have the peace of mind that the risk of a dike failure has been significantly lowered.”

This event is dedicated to all of the people who lost their lives in the hurricanes of 1926, 1928, and 1947.

Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation by the numbers:

  • $1.5 Billion dollars was invested in the rehabilitation to date, from the original $1.8B total estimate.
  • The dike consists of 143-miles of embankment, with 60 structural penetrations including five inlet spillways, five outlet spillways, nine pump stations, nine navigation locks, and 32 water control structures.
  • More than 56 miles of cutoff wall was constructed through the most vulnerable sections of embankment.
  • 28 water control structures (culverts) were replaced with new structures. Four of the structures are located on the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Brighton Reservation. They had barrels from 7 to 10 feet in diameter and many had multiple barrels.
  •  1 culvert was removed, and 3 filled in
  • The embankment was armored at several locations, with one located on Brighton Reservation, to prevent downstream slope erosion in case water ever overtops the dike during a storm event.
  • All in all, the Corps awarded a total of 42 construction contracts for risk-reduction features, including cut-off wall, water control structures, and embankment armoring, since 2005.
  • As a result, the Dam Safety Action Classification rating is expected to greatly improve when we complete the evaluation of the project in the spring of 2023.

Media Resources photo and video (Available for Use)

Media Contacts
Jacksonville District Corporate Communications 
Michelle Roberts, Corporate Communications Officer 


Michelle Roberts

Release no. 23-004