US Army Corps of Engineers
Jacksonville District

About Herbert Hoover Dike

Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD) is a 143-mile earthen dam that surrounds Lake Okeechobee, the heart of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades system.  The project reduces impacts from flooding as a result of high lake levels for a large area of south Florida.

Since 2001, the Corps has made a significant investment, over $870 million, in projects designed to reduce the risk of catastrophic failure of the aging structure. Actions taken include installing a partial cutoff wall along the southeast part of the dike, removing and replacing water control structures (culverts), and conducting a variety of studies and technical reviews to help ensure the safety of south Florida residents. Corps teams work daily on the dike, providing contractor oversight, quality assurance, inspections, and dike operations and maintenance. Much progress is also being made behind the scenes at the District, where a team of engineers, hydrologists, geologists, scientists, contract and real estate specialists, budget analysts, and many others, work to ensure the very best rehabilitation strategies are applied to the dike today and in the future.

The HHD Project team maintains close coordination and communication with other internal Jacksonville technical offices such as Engineering, Planning, Contracting, Corporate Communication, Construction and Operations while maintaining a presence (HHD Project Manager forward) in the local project area to communicate regularly with local communities and the construction field offices regarding project updates and problem solving.

Background

The first embankments around Lake Okeechobee were constructed by local interest from sand and muck, circa 1915. Hurricane tides overtopped the original embankments in 1926 and 1928, resulting in over 2,500 deaths.

The River and Harbors Act of 1930 authorized the construction of 67.8 miles of levee along the south shore of the lake and 15.7 miles along the north shore. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the levees between 1932 and 1938.

A major hurricane in 1947 prompted the need for additional flood and storm damage reduction work. As a result, Congress passed the Flood Control Act of 1948 authorizing the first phase of the Central and South Florida (C&SF) Project, a comprehensive plan to provide flood and storm damage reduction and other water control benefits in central & south Florida. The new dike system was completed in the late 1960’s and named the Herbert Hoover Dike.

The dike system consists of 143 miles of levee, hurricane gates and other water control structures.

HHD Photos

Crews install a partial cutoff wall in the middle of the Herbert Hoover Dike near Pahokee in 2012.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed 21.4 miles of cutoff wall in the southeast side of the dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee from 2007-2013.
A worker directs a "hydro-mill" into position while installing a partial cutoff wall in the Herbert Hoover Dike.  The cutoff wall was installed in 21.4 miles of the dike from 2007-2013 to help reduce seepage through the earthen dam as part of a major rehabilitation project.
With Lake Okeechobee in the background, crews work to replace a water control structure, or "culvert" in Herbert Hoover Dike along Highway 27 near Clewiston.  The culvert replacements ongoing require significant preparation of the site, to include installation of a temporary cofferdam to hold back water while crews work on the earthen structure.
The mud flies as machine functioning as a "vertical chain saw" mixes soil with slurry to form a partial cutoff wall in the Herbert Hoover Dike surround Lake Okeechobee in south Florida.  The work was part of a $220 million investment to reduce the risk of dike failure through installation of 21.4 miles of cutoff wall on the southeast side of the dike.
A finished culvert constructed in the Herbert Hoover Dike along the east side of the dam near Port Mayaca. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to replace 26 such structures as part of its rehabilitation of the 143-mile dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee in south Florida.