By Jenn Miller
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), visited the Everglades October 10, 2012 to see the restoration work being performed by the Jacksonville District and their partnering agencies.
"USACE has one of the largest environmental restoration and sustainability roles in the federal government, and the Everglades restoration is our largest project of this kind," said Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "After viewing first-hand the enormous challenges facing Everglades restoration and meeting with our partners in this effort, I am absolutely convinced that working together, we can achieve restoration goals and improve this ecological treasure for future generations."
During his trip to the Everglades, Bostick visited the Tamiami Trail Modifications project site in Miami-Dade County, a project sponsored by the National Park Service. At the site, he met with Shannon Estenoz, Director of Everglades Initiatives for the Department of the Interior; Dan Kimball, superintendant of Everglades National Park; Dave Sikkema, project manager for Everglades National Park; Bob Johnson, director of the South Florida Natural Resources Center; Col. Alan Dodd, Jacksonville District commander and members of the project team to discuss the ongoing construction at the site.
"Progress continues to be made in Everglades restoration," said Col. Alan Dodd, Jacksonville District commander. "This progress is contingent upon the commitment of this district and our partnering agencies. Through a dedicated and collaborative effort, we will not only continue to move forward in our restoration goals but also fulfill our obligation to the nation to preserve this national treasure."
Construction of the $81 million Tamiami Trail project, a key component of the Modified Water Delieveries to Everglades Nation Park, began in 2010. The project includes constructing a one-mile bridge and raising and reinforcing an additional 9.7 miles of road, allowing increased water flows that are essential to the health and viability of the Everglades.
"A major construction milestone for the Tamiami Trail Modifications project was reached July 13 as the first concrete pour on the bridge deck was completed," said Tim Brown, Jacksonville District project manager. "This milestone signified the start toward the end of the project's bridge construction. However, there is still more work to do and it is our collective discipline that will ensure our project's success."
After seeing the Tamiami Trail Modifications project, Bostick, along with agency representatives, took an airboat ride through Everglades National Park to see first-hand this national treasure.