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Contract awarded for massive reservoir


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  • | 3:11 p.m. August 17, 2015
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FORT MYERS — The South Florida Water Management District awarded a $10.8 million contract to Blue Goose Construction of Fort Pierce to start building a 10,000-acre water reservoir in Hendry County.

The reservoir located west of LaBelle in Hendry County will eventually be able to hold 170,000 acre-feet of water that will capture and hold excess water from Lake Okeechobee during the rainy season. During the dry season, the reservoir will help engineers maintain a minimum flow of fresh water down the Caloosahatchee River to Fort Myers.

Water issues have pitted tourism officials and urban residents against rural areas and agriculture interests as fresh-water flows from Lake Okeechobee affected the water quality downstream in Fort Myers and the beaches of Sanibel. The reservoir is one solution to the vexing problem, water officials say.

“While just the first step in construction of the reservoir, this work is crucial to making tangible improvements in the health of the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary,” says Daniel O'Keefe, the district's governing board chairman, in a statement.

The initial work involves preparing the agricultural land by removing buried pipes and other structures. In addition, Blue Goose will prepare the foundation for a 16-mile dam that will surround the reservoir.

 

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