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Lake Okeechobee dike repair halfway done

Posted at 3:39 PM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 18:24:50-04

Repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike are half completed but still 9 years away from when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be finished with the project.

Many hope that fixing the dike will help reduce the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. The discharges are being blamed for the toxic algae on the Treasure Coast.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took a NewsChannel 5 crew to see the construction progress at two sites on the south side of the lake. That’s the area of the dike considered to be most at risk.

Most of the project consists of installing miles of cutoff walls to help with seepage issues and the replacement of several, smaller water control structures called culverts.  They are considered to be at risk.

The Corps showed two culverts under construction near Clewiston. One of them is almost 90 percent complete.

While fixing the dike is a priority to ensure the safety for people living around the lake the Corps says it will also help with, but not stop, the discharges.

“What fixing the dike does is it gives us the potential flexibility in how we manage the water levels and the lake but we need the other projects as well,” said John Campbell with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

About 30 miles of cutoff walls must still be installed and more culverts need to be replaced.

If the funding remains steady completion should happen in 2025.

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