LAKE OKEECHOBEE, Fla.- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is getting close to the half-way mark in its efforts to rehabilitate the Herbert Hoover Dike, 143 miles of earthen levee around Lake Okeechobeee.
The project will go on for several more years and probably will top the $1 billion mark when done.
Engineers and contractors are replacing 26 of 32 culverts in the dike, devices that allow water to flow out to nearby towns and farms.
Workers are replacing the old culverts will much larger and stronger ones.
The corps inventoried all dams in the country after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It found the Hoover Dike urgently needed some repairs to prevent a catastrophic breach of the dike.
WINK News was given exclusive access to some sites near Moore Haven and Clewiston, where engineers are improving the dike’s ability to hold back water.
The dike was built in the 1930s, and updated in the 40s and 50s. The current project is supposed to ensure the dike’s ability to hold up for at least the next 80 years.