JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District just awarded a contract to build the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area (RSTA) component of the Indian River Lagoon-South (IRS-S) Everglades restoration project. The Corps awarded the $32,420,192 contract to Phillips & Jordan, Inc., of Knoxville, Tenn.
A chief proponent of the project, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson ( D-FL ), secured the funding. "In the past year we’ve seen two groundbreakings on major restoration projects - and this will be the third," Nelson said. "After decades of delays, we’re finally seeing the dream of restoring the ‘Glades come true.
"Restoring the Everglades means clean drinking water for all of South Florida," he said. "It also will mean construction jobs."
According to the contractor, 40-50 new jobs will be created and they will make every effort to hire as many local workers as possible. These jobs have a direct economic impact. Economists estimate that indirect, direct and induced economic impact will be 490 jobs the first year of the contract and 310 jobs during the second.
Orlando Ramos-Gines, the Corps’ senior project manager, said, "This award is critically important to the people of Florida, the nation and Everglades restoration. One agency can’t do it alone though. It took the coordinated effort of many to make this project a reality."
The C-44 RSTA, located in western Martin County, will be approximately 12,000 acres in size. It will include a 3,400-acre reservoir with a maximum storage capacity of 50,600 acre-feet and a pump station with a capacity to pump 1,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water.
The completed C-44 RSTA Phase I project, which has a seven-year construction timeline, will capture local runoff from the C-44 basin and provide numerous benefits, including a reduction in the average annual total nutrient loads and an improved salinity regiment for the St. Lucie Estuary and southern portion of the Indian River Lagoon.
This is the first of three construction contracts that will be awarded in the C-44 RSTA sequence. This contract is for the construction of an intake canal, access roads, a drainage canal and outlet for C- 133A and C-133, the removal of a culvert under Citrus Boulevard for the C-133 canal, a new bridge over the intake canal from Citrus Boulevard and turning lanes on Citrus Boulevard.