The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District, completed construction on its first contract for a substantial Everglades restoration project in Martin County, Fla., July 31. The project, known as the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) project, is the first component of the multi-billion dollar Indian River Lagoon-South project that will serve a vital role in storing and treating local basin run-off.
Once all contracts are completed, the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area project will capture local run-off from the C-44 basin, reducing average annual total nutrient loads and improving salinity in the St. Lucie Estuary and the southern portion of the Indian River Lagoon by providing, 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.
"Completion of this construction contract is an important step forward for the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area project," said Col. Alan Dodd, Jacksonville District commander. "We now have the foundation in place to begin constructing the larger components of the project, which when completed, will be extremely beneficial to the St. Lucie Estuary, Indian River Lagoon and our Everglades restoration program as a whole."
The C-44 project includes the construction of a 3,400-acre reservoir, a pump station with a capacity to pump 1,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water and 6,300 acres of STAs. Construction on the project’s first contract began in 2011 and consisted of constructing the western intake canal, eastern C-133/133A canal, all access roads and staging areas, and the construction of the Citrus Boulevard bridge and culvert. The Corps is scheduled to award the construction contract for the reservoir summer 2015.
All project components were originally planned to be built by the Corps, but in an effort to construct the project as expeditiously as possible, the local sponsor the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is scheduled to award the construction contract for the STAs and a portion of the project discharge canal October 2014, and award the construction contract for the reservoir’s pump station April 2015. 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.
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 Indian River Lagoon-South (IRL-S) project, part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), a joint effort between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District and the local sponsor, the South Florida Water Management District.
Additional information on the C-44 Reservoir and STA is available at: http://bit.ly/IRLS_C-44
Project construction photos available at: http://bit.ly/IRL-S_C44Photos