By Thomas F. Armistead
Notice to proceed is expected in July for the first construction work on the $1.6-billion Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. On March 13, the South Florida Water Management District’s governing board issued the notice of intent to award the contract to Ryan Inc. Southern to construct canals and a levee for the stormwater treatment area in Palm Beach County.
Ryan was the low bidder at $12.93 million. Bids for the work ranged from $27.92 million down to Ryan’s $12.93 million, which was 67% below the engineer’s estimate of $38.8 million.
Under an 18-month contract, Ryan will construct 3.4 miles of inflow/outflow levees and canals on the north side of the 6,500-acre A-2 Stormwater Treatment Area (STA), says Marcus Thermes, vice president. Canal excavation will total 1.6 million cu yd, with 0.6 million cu yd going to levee construction. H&R of Belle Glade Inc., a local contractor, cleared and demucked the cane fields to prepare for this contract.
The STA project, with an estimated cost of $150 million, is part of the estimated $1.6-billion Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir project, which is being built to receive water from Lake Okeechobee polluted by agricultural runoff and cleanse it before sending it on to the southern Everglades. The water currently must be discharged east and west to rivers to prevent damage to the Herbert Hoover Dike enclosing Okeechobee.