Corps awards cutoff wall contract for HHD rehabilitation

JACKSONVILLE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District awarded the final contract for the cutoff wall required as part of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD), the earthen structure surrounding Lake Okeechobee.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/Mark Blas/USACOE
LAKE OKEECHOBEE – Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the final contract for the cutoff wall required as part of the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike. Above, work on the dike continues.

The corps awarded the contract April 30 for $41.4 million to Bauer Foundation Corporation from Odessa. The contract calls for the construction of 4.1 miles of cutoff wall through the HHD embankment near Lakeport.

Work on this project is expected to be complete by the summer of 2022.

“The award of the final cutoff wall contract is a significant milestone toward reaching the goal of having Herbert Hoover Dike construction complete by the end of 2022,” said Tim Willadsen, Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Project manager. “There is a lot of ongoing construction currently, which includes 10 culvert replacements and more than 35 miles of cutoff wall installation, including this last cutoff wall contract award.”

“So far, we’ve completed 21.4 miles of cutoff wall in Reach 1, finished the Reach 1 cutoff wall gap closure construction, replaced 18 culverts, and removed or abandoned four culverts,” said Mr. Willadsen.

Additional planned work includes construction contracts for embankment armoring near the State Road 78 Bridge over the Harney Pond Canal, near Structure S-71 and near Structure S-72, with the goal of construction completion by the end of 2022.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/M. Torres/USACOE
Cutoff wall construction on the Herbert Hoover Dike continues at night.

Since 2001, the corps has made a significant investment of more than $1 billion in projects designed to reduce the risk of catastrophic failure of the aging structure, with the estimated total cost of the rehabilitation effort to be more than $1.8 billion. The HHD project is fully funded to completion with the fiscal year 2019 president’s budget, the State of Florida’s $100 million contribution and inclusion in the Supplemental Long-Term Disaster Recovery Investment Plan. The corps anticipates rehabilitation work will be complete in 2022.

The Herbert Hoover Dike is a 143-mile, earthen levee that surrounds Lake Okeechobee, the second-largest freshwater lake in the continental United States.

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