Corps awards Indian River Lagoon-South construction contract

Published Sept. 11, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has awarded a construction contract for the reservoir component of the Indian River Lagoon-South’s C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) project in Martin County, Fla.

The $197 million construction contract was awarded today (Sept. 11) to Barnard Construction Co. Inc. from Bozeman, Mont.  The contract involves the construction of a 3,400-acre reservoir that will store up to 15 feet of water and will provide 50,600 acre-feet (16 billion gallons) of storage capacity. Construction is anticipated to begin this winter. 

“The reservoir is the largest component of the C-44 project and a key storage component of the entire Indian River Lagoon-South project,” said Orlando Ramos-Gines, Jacksonville District Senior Project Manager.  “Getting this contract awarded is a major step forward towards being able to store local basin-run-off and improve conditions in the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon.”

The contract also includes the construction of the following features:


§  The 35,000-foot long Western Reservoir Perimeter Canal, which runs parallel to most of the northern, western, and southern embankments of the reservoir. It will be used to transmit surface runoff and seepage flow from the embankment internal drain and the trench drain systems.


§  A corresponding 50-foot wide spillway for the Western Reservoir Perimeter Canal that will discharge into the intake canal, which was completed as part of the Corps’ first construction contract for the project, in July 2014.


§  The 15,000-foot long Eastern Reservoir Perimeter canal, which runs parallel to the eastern embankment of the reservoir. It will convey runoff and seepage from the embankment internal drain and the trench drain system.


§  A reservoir discharge tower structure comprised of three slide gates to convey a maximum of 1,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) (600 cfs under normal operations) through two culverts to the system discharge canal.


§  Two miles of the system’s discharge canal that will convey flows from the reservoir through the Distribution Canal to the Eastern Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) Collection Canal.


§  The installation of several box culverts in various locations around project footprint to provide vehicular access across canals. Additionally, the reservoir embankment includes the construction of several boat ramps for access inside the reservoir.

“The reservoir contract will complement the construction already initiated by the State on the reservoir intake canal and associated Stormwater Treatment Area,” said Ramos-Gines.  “Collectively, these features will work together to provide additional storage and treatment, while attenuating damaging flows discharged to the St. Lucie Estuary.”

In an effort to construct the project as expeditiously as possible, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has awarded construction contracts for the discharge canal, pump station and STA. The shared efforts on construction contracts will reduce the time needed to fully-construct the project by at least two years.

Construction of the C-44 Reservoir and STA is scheduled to be completed in 2020.  Upon construction completion, up to two years of operational testing will occur. 

Once all work is complete, the project will capture local run-off from the C-44 basin, reducing average nutrient loads and improving salinity in the St. Lucie Estuary and the southern portion of the Indian River Lagoon. It will provide, in total, 60,500 acre-feet of new water storage (50,600 acre-feet in the reservoir and 9,900 acre-feet in the STAs) and 3,600 acres of new wetlands.

The Indian River Lagoon is considered the most biologically diverse estuarine system in the continental United States and is home to more than 3,000 species of plants and animals. The C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area is the first component of the multi-billion dollar Indian River Lagoon-South project, an element of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).

Additional information on the C-44 Reservoir and STA is available at:  

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Jenn Miller
John Campbell

Release no. 15-081