OKEECHOBEE – Rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike is now at 83% completion for the whole program, according to information shared by Ingrid Bon of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Feb. 26 meeting of the County Coalition for the Responsible Management of Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries and the Lake Worth Lagoon.
Completed work on the dike includes 25 miles of cutoff wall on the southeastern quadrant of the lake, from Port Mayaca to Belle Glade. The corps has also completed 21 culvert or water control structure replacements. Four culverts have been removed on the north side of the lake.
The cutoff walls are inside the dike and prevent seepage of water through the dike. To make a cutoff wall, contractors drill through the top of the dike. A concrete mixture is used to make a wall within the dike.
Ongoing work includes seven culvert replacements. One is located near Pahokee. The others are on the northwest side of the lake. Those are expected to be completed by this summer.
“Once those are completed, we will still have a presence on the dike, as we have six different projects for cutoff wall construction which are ongoing,” she explained.
She said they have completed 92% of the construction of reach 1 cutoff wall. “We’re looking forward to the completion of it in March, followed by the restoration of the embankment. That project should be completed by summer of this year,” Bon said. “Once that is done, we are looking at the completion of five others, which will take the wall from Lake Harbor all the way to Lakeport.”
The contract on the last project, the S-72 on the Indian Prairie Canal should be awarded this fiscal year,” she said.
The work on the dike means changes in the FEMA Accreditations.
Flood maps for Okeechobee County, Glades County and Hendry County have been updated.
She said they will be ready to make recommendations for the other zones when the work on those areas of the dike is completed.
All of the work on the Herbert Hoover Dike is tracking for completion by the end of 2022.