The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District, announces the approval of a planned temporary deviation to the 1981 Lake Kissimmee, Hatchineha and Cypress Interim Regulation Schedule.
Brigadier General Daniel Hibner, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, approved the planned deviation to raise the regulation schedule to facilitate Kissimmee River Restoration Project (KRRP) construction from Feb. 1 through June 1 for the 2023 and 2024 dry seasons. This deviation was originally analyzed in an Environmental Assessment in 2020 and implemented previously during the dry seasons of 2020 and 2021.
"Completing the Kissimmee River Restoration Project is a priority for the Jacksonville District," said Tim Gysan, Resilience Senior Project Manager. "That includes the ongoing operational planning efforts to implement the Headwaters Revitalization Schedule and well as the remaining work to wrap up construction efforts. Receiving the approval for this planned temporary deviation gives us flexibility as we work to maintain the on-site conditions required for our contractors to continue their work at multiple construction locations simultaneously.”
Remaining construction includes repairs to the S-69 U-shaped weir needed following Hurricane Ian, degrading several remnant flood plain berms along U.S. 98 and near Hidden Acres to ensure sheet flow across the floodplain, and installation of navigation signage to facilitate recreational boating and fishing activities. Lake Kissimmee, Hatchineha, and Cypress are regulated by a single structure, S-65, located at the outlet of Lake Kissimmee. S-65 is a spillway located at the head of the Kissimmee River (C-38 Canal). The intent of the planned temporary deviation is to avoid the steep drawdown of Lake Kissimmee prior to June 1 and allow for a more gradual recession during the dry season. The planned temporary deviation provides operational flexibility to the South Florida Water Management District, increasing the likelihood of providing flows within an optimum range for Corps construction.