The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will close a section of the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail along the lake’s south side while maintenance and rehabilitation work continues on the Herbert Hoover Dike.
Effective Monday, December 9, the Corps will close the section of trail between Clewiston and John Stretch Park near Lake Harbor to allow for installation of a seepage management system. Coupled with ongoing work to replace Culvert 4A east of John Stretch Park, the trail will now be closed between Clewiston and South Bay.
In addition to this new closure, the trail remains closed between Moore Haven and Uncle Joe’s Fish Camp/Liberty Point to accommodate replacement of Culverts 1 and 1A, and between Canal Point and Port Mayaca for replacement of Culverts 11 and 16. With three additional contracts awarded in September, the Corps anticipates closing other sections of the trail as contractors begin work shortly after the first of the year.
Contractors are using heavy construction vehicles and large equipment within all of these areas. Truck traffic on the roads is a constant flow, and any additional traffic on the narrow trail or dike crest poses a safety hazard for recreationists and equipment operators.
The trail recently reopened between Pahokee and Canal Point, after being closed to facilitate installation of a seepage barrier within the dike itself.
“We recognize the inconvenience caused by these additional closures,” said Adam Tarplee, Natural Resource Program Manager with the Corps’ South Florida Operations Office (SFOO) in Clewiston. “However, safety for our workers and the general public is something we take very seriously. We want to keep people out of harm’s way.”
More information on the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail and a map of current closures can be found at the following website:
Release no. 13-094