06/03/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/03/2021 07:22
This is the latest in a series of member company success story profiles AEM will feature throughout 2021.
The numbers associated with the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir are simply staggering: 10,000 acres in size, 53 billion gallons of local basin stormwater being runoff and released, as well as a price tag of approximately $-524 million.
Currently underway in south Florida as part of a larger effort to restore the Everglades, the C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir construction project is being led by general contractor The Lane Construction Corporation, whose workers are employing machinery from AEM member company Volvo Construction Equipment and its local dealer, Alta Equipment. Quite simply stated, the project is a massive undertaking in both size and scope. It's also one Volvo CE is proud to support.
'To have the opportunity to serve as an essential supplier on a project of substantial environmental impact; is something we all strive for,' said Stephanie McCall, vice president key accounts, Region North America, for Volvo CE. 'Knowing that Volvo CE and our local dealer Alta Equipment is working to preserve the Everglades water estuaries and wildlife ecosystems for generations to come is by far the most rewarding work we could be a part of.'
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'To have the opportunity to serve as an essential supplier on a project of substantial environmental impact; is something we all strive for.'-- Volvo CE VP Stephanie McCall
Decades in the Making
Endeavors to restore the Everglades have been in the works for more than two decades. In 2000, the U.S. Congress authorized passage of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The largest hydrologic restoration effort ever undertaken in the country's history, the CERP was projected to take 35 years to complete at a cost of $10.5 billion. More specifically, the plan called for:
In addition, the CERP tasked the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to assume a key role in ensuring the mission of the project remain on track over time. For the C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir project, which commenced in October of 2019, a construction manager group under the direction of SFWMD is on site to work with both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering and staff from Lane.
'On the contractor's side, we have approximately 350 craft and full-time staff on site, plus approximately 100 people, employed through our subcontractors,' said Massimo Bugliosi, Lane's project director for the C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir construction effort. 'The cooperation between our team and with the client has added greatly to the success of this project, and we are positively impressed by the good relationship we've been able to maintain.'
According to Bugliosi, Volvo's earthworks product offerings have been critical to the success of the project thus far. As of now, contractors are employing a total of 42 Volvo machines to work the soil at the C-43 reservoir construction site, including a large fleet of A45 articulated haulers and different size excavators, including EC750E, 480, 350, 200 and EC88.
'We chose to use Volvo equipment, because it is versatile and can handle the mixes of different kinds of soil,' explained Bugliosi.
The C-43 water reservoir construction effort has not been without its challenges, however. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic just a few short months after the project commenced was certainly a notable and unforeseen one, and it made managing the construction effort more difficult at times for project stakeholders. In addition, water management due to changing weather patterns has presented itself as an issue, as has the inflow of natural water following years of draining the swamp.
'The preliminary part of our work called for us to prepare the subgrade for the embankment operations to come,' explained Bugliosi. 'We started this activity just before the 2020 wet season (which begins in mid-May), and it was difficult. However, we've figured out ways to improve our methodology of work to mitigate these challenges, and we've received great support from our client.'
C-43 Reservoir Project Details
The project's scope features the construction of a sand embankment dam, one which includes a built-in soil bentonite wall core and a perimeter of roughly 16.3 miles and a separator dam of 2.8 miles in length. Other notable work details include:
'Every Floridian is very careful about water and its associated resources, and through the development of this project, we are happy to be able to contribute to enhancing the environment in support of water management. It's very important to work knowing that the job, once completed, will greatly contribute to a greater good.' -- Lane Construction Company Project Manager Massimo Bugliosi
Advancing a Healthy Ecosystem
Once completed, the C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir project will promote a healthy biological system through the capture and controlled release of water. During wet periods, it will reduce the amount of freshwater flowing to the estuary from basin runoff and harmful discharges from the nearby Lake Okeechobee. During dry periods, it'll help maintain a desirable minimum flow of fresh water to the estuary and to use the stored water to contribute positively to the surrounding areas irrigation needs.
Due to the successful collaboration between project stakeholders, the soon-to-be constructed C-43 reservoir is on track to be completed on time and is poised to serve as an important catalyst for helping restore the Everglades to its former glory.
Ultimately, there's no overstating the importance of the Everglades restoration effort for both humans and animals alike. As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explained, the Everglades is a 'one-of-one' in terms of its sawgrass marshes, freshwater ponds, prairies and forested uplands that support rich plant and wildlife communities. Furthermore, it is home to tens of threatened and endangered species, including the Florida panther, American crocodile, snail kite and wood stork, among others.
Year in and year out, the Everglades see more than 1 million visitors from across the United States and around the world, making them among Florida's most notable tourism and recreation attractions. In addition, they provide drinking water for 8 million residents in southern Florida. As a result, finding a way to ensure a sustainable future for the Everglades where human expansion does not pose a threat is a task of critical significance.
'We feel the importance of this project not only in the local community, but also in the surrounding areas,' said Bugliosi. 'Every Floridian is very careful about water and its associated resources, and through the development of this project, we are happy to be able to contribute to enhancing the environment in support of water management. It's very important to work knowing that the job, once completed, will greatly contribute to a greater good.'
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