MOORE HAVEN — Glades County commissioners will continue to press for more state financing for the ambitious Moonshine Marsh Overlook Park plan, part of the Moore Haven Canal project undertaken with state and federal partners.
The project was discussed at the commissioners’ meeting Aug. 26 briefly as it is on the legislative priority list they were considering for the upcoming delegation meeting that’s just a few weeks away.
Commissioner John Ahern said in an interview Thursday, Aug. 29: “We have it on the legislative list, and we had Congressman (Greg) Steube over (recently). He was here, and his aides; we had Sen. (Marco) Rubio’s aides, Congressman (Brian) Mast’s aides … We showed them the canal and the project. We’re looking for federal money, state money; wherever we can find it, we’re looking at all our options on that to continue that project.”
Dredging has been completed on approximately three-quarters of a mile of the project, just north of the Moore Haven Lock on Lake Okeechobee. “There are still over 6 miles to go if we try to dig the channel that goes across to Lakeport, to Harney Pond, but we’re not sure exactly on how that’s going to go. But it’s all been engineered, and the dredging, that work, and then the walk … once you get across the Rim Canal, and there’s bridges and stuff on the cuts that go into Moonshine Bay,” Mr. Ahern said.
Although there is no walkway per se yet, and no amenities have been completed in that area, visitors are able to walk on the embankment alongside the dredged portion of the canal.
“There’s a lot of improvements, a lot of fill work needs to be done and everything, to put it to where you could actually walk out on it. That’s the project to go all the way to the Monkey Box. It’s going to be quite a project to do that. We’re going to need some big number, like $10 million to $14 million,” he said.
Arbor Tree and Land was selected to be the contractor for the Moore Haven Canal/Moonshine Marsh Overlook Park project back in December 2015. Nearly 70,000 cubic yards of sediment and a berm were removed to the opposite side of the canal.
Also at the Monday night meeting, the county board:
• Received from Lisa Sands, Hendry-Glades United Way coordinator, the Campaign Award for their and county employees’ fundraising efforts during the 2018-19 campaign.