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USACE Awards Large, Foundational Construction Contract for CEPP EAA A-2 Reservoir

JACKSONVILLE, FL — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Jacksonville District, awarded the second Corps construction contract for the Central Everglades Planning Project Everglades Agricultural Area (CEPP EAA) Phase Reservoir, a key component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). This contract is for the foundation and cutoff wall features of the CEPP EAA A-2 Reservoir located in Palm Beach County, Florida.

The Corps awarded Contract 11A for the second — and so far the largest — increment of work on the CEPP EAA A-2 Reservoir for $308,432,100 to Forgen-Odin JV from Rocklin, California. If all options are exercised, the total contract value will equal $492,335,680.00. The contract calls for the construction of the reservoir foundation and cutoff wall features of the EAA Reservoir.

“Today we are proud to award the largest Corps contract to date for construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir. This important component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan will reconnect Lake Okeechobee to the Central Everglades and is the foundation for restoring the central portion of the Everglades ecosystem and sending additional water south,” said Col. James Booth, Jacksonville District Commander. “When completed, we will have built a 240,000-acre-foot reservoir covering approximately 16 square miles — an area similar to the cities of Stuart and Fort Myers put together. Another way to think of the magnitude of this massive civil works project is that it will store a volume similar to about a half a foot on Lake Okeechobee. This reservoir will store water that today is lost to tide, so it can be treated by the Stormwater Treatment Area our partner South Florida Water Management District is currently building and by existing state STAs. That water will then move south to the central Everglades, Everglades National Park, and Florida Bay.”

“CEPP is the ‘heart’ of Everglades restoration. It focuses on the restoration of more natural flows into and through the central and southern Everglades by increasing storage, treatment, and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee; removing canals and levees within the central Everglades and retaining water within Everglades National Park,” said Senior Project Manager Chrissie Figueroa. “This CEPP EAA reservoir construction contract represents the culmination of years of interagency planning and coordination with our partners at the South Florida Water Management District, stakeholders, and members of the public in an effort to 'get the water right' — improving the quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of water."

The CEPP EAA Reservoir Contract 11A includes the following features:

  • Clearing
  • Grubbing
  • De-mucking
  • Blasting
  • Foundation preparation
  • Installation of a seepage cutoff wall
  • Canal backfilling
  • All incidental related work to prepare approximately 15.3 miles of foundation for a 17.3-mile-long embankment dam, to be constructed under a separate contract within the EAA.
  • The approximate toe to toe width of the foundation is 260 feet in the north, east, and west; and 235 feet in the south.

“The contractor is expected to mobilize at the CEPP EAA Contract 11A site after the end of December,” Figueroa said. “We hope to maintain the momentum on this keystone project throughout the next several fiscal years if Congressional appropriations can be maintained to support the effort. We currently have an ambitious schedule to award additional construction contracts for the EAA Reservoir in coming years.”

The total cost of the CEPP EAA phase is estimated at $3.9 billion. The purpose of the Central Everglades Planning Project is to increase the quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of water to the Central Everglades.

There are four phases of the CEPP:

  • Everglades Agricultural Area
  • North
  • South
  • New Water

The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan outlines the projects for returning the lifeblood of the Everglades — water — to its historic quantity, quality, timing, and distribution. The overarching objective of the plan is the restoration, preservation, and protection of the south Florida ecosystem while providing for other water-related needs of the region, including water supply and flood protection.

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