Construction of vital restoration upgrades to the Everglades has begun, officially announced by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
A component of the State of Florida and the federal government’s Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project in southwest Palm Beach County provides ecological benefits, reduces harmful discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, and sends clean water to the Southern Everglades and Florida Bay. The project, expected to cost more than $1.8 billion, includes a combination of canals, stormwater treatment areas and a storage reservoir anticipated to hold 240,000 acre-feet of water.
Following initial site preparation, the SFWMD will now begin construction of a new 6,500-acre STA west of the reservoir with associated inflow/outflow canals and levees to connect the Miami and North New River Canals. Future projects include additional conveyance capacity through enlargement of the Miami Canal and the North New River and a new 4,600-cfs inflow pump station to deliver water from the inflow canal to the reservoir and STA.
In the role of STA engineer of record, leading environmental engineering and construction firm Brown and Caldwell is providing geotechnical engineering; surveying; hydraulic and hydrogeologic modeling; and design of the new STA and its network of canals. A critical element of the project’s long-term success, the company has expedited the design of the canals to ensure early construction commencement.
“We congratulate Governor DeSantis and the South Florida Water Management District on this important step and for their leadership, dedication and foresight in maintaining and protecting South Florida’s natural water systems and wildlife habitats,” says Albert Perez, Brown and Caldwell principal-in-charge.
The new STA is scheduled for completion in 2023, and the reservoir is expected to be complete in 2028.