The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will close additional portions of the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST) as rehabilitation continues on the Herbert Hoover Dike, the earthen structure surrounding the lake.
The Corps will close about 10 miles of the trail between Belle Glade and Pahokee. The Corps will also close access to the boat ramp at Paul Rardin Park southwest of Pahokee. The closures are necessary for public safety while replacement of a nearby water control structure (Culvert 12) takes place.
Additionally, the Corps will close another 10 miles of the trail between Lakeport and Moore Haven. This is to facilitate replacement of other water control structures (Culverts 5 and 5A).
“We recognize the inconvenience caused by these closures,” said Steve Dunham, Chief of the Corps’ South Florida Operations Office (SFOO) in Clewiston. “However, public safety is our top priority. We want to keep people out of harm’s way, given the amount of equipment that will be in the area.”
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 and boat ramp are expected to be closed for the duration of construction, currently estimated to last about 18 months.
In addition to these new closures, the trail remains closed in various locations between Moore Haven and South Bay on the south side of the lake, and between Canal Point and Port Mayaca on the east side.
More information on the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail and a map of current closures can be found at the following website:
Release no. 14-019