The commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Atlantic Division, Brig. Gen. David Turner, recently visited multiple projects in south Florida under jurisdiction of the Corps’ Jacksonville District.
Turner visited work sites along the Kissimmee River, Herbert Hoover Dike, and the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area on June 23-24. Turner was able to see progress first-hand on some of the Corps’ largest ecosystem restoration and flood control projects.
“The visit provided me with a better understanding of the complexities associated with the Central and Southern Florida Project,” said Turner. “I enjoyed the visits with project staff and stakeholders in the area.”
At the Kissimmee River, Turner met with a scientist from Audubon Florida, who spoke about the success associated with restoration efforts already completed on the river. Turner also toured the S-65EX1 Spillway project, which will help maintain the current level of flood protection on the river as work continues to restore the historic channel.
Turner met with Jacksonville District staff working on replacements of water control structures, or “culverts” along the east side of Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee. The large culverts, many of which date back to the 1930s, have long been identified as a significant risk factor that could lead to a breach due to erosion around the structures. Jacksonville District plans to replace 26 structures. The district has awarded contracts on 16 of the structures since 2011; the remaining 10 are expected to be under contract in the next four years.
Turner also visited the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area project, one of the major features of the larger Indian River Lagoon-South project authorized as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Jacksonville District completed the intake canal and access roads in 2014. The project’s non-federal sponsor, the South Florida Water Management District, is currently constructing the Stormwater Treatment Area that will help clean water before it’s funneled into the St. Lucie Canal (C-44). Jacksonville District plans to award a contract later this year for construction of the 3,400 acre reservoir that will store 50, acre-feet of water.
“We appreciate the general’s visit to south Florida,” said Col. Alan Dodd, Jacksonville District Commander. “It is always impressive to see restored sections of the Kissimmee River and know that we are making progress in all of our business lines. South Atlantic Division continues to deliver great assistance.”