Fort Lauderdale issues $543 million bond for water treatment plant construction

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Florida Construction News staff writer

The City of Fort Lauderdale has approved a $543 million bond to fund a new water treatment plant, setting a record for the largest bond ever issued.

Mayor Dean J. Trantalis also signed documents to finalize receipt of a Water and Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fund upcoming neighborhood stormwater projects.

In March 2022, City Commission chose the IDE-Ridgewood project team to replace the Fiveash Water Treatment Plant with the Prospect Lake Clean Water Center, a new, state-of-the-art facility.

Kiewit Water Facilities Florida Co. has been selected to design and build the new Prospect Lake Clean Water Center, which will feature state-of-the-art technology and produce 50 million gallons of water per day (MGD). It will also be designed to withstand the winds of a Category 5 hurricane.

“We are tremendously grateful to the EPA for granting our city this generous loan as we recover from April’s historic flooding and prepare for a resilient future,” he said. “Neighborhoods that are hardest hit by storms including River Oaks, Dorsey-Riverbend, Durrs, Progresso Village, Victoria Park, Melrose Manors, and Southeast Isles will greatly benefit from the stormwater improvements these funds will finance.”

The new water treatment plant will be capable of producing 50 million gallons of treated water per day using a combination of nanofiltration membrane and ion exchange technologies to provide residents with clear, safe, potable water.

The Prospect Lake Clean Water Center project has an aggregate, fixed project cost of $485 million. Connecting it to the existing water system requires an additional investment of about $189 million for infrastructure elements and improvements.

Upcoming projects will bring new stormwater management infrastructure to neighborhoods, including seawalls, swales, new pipes, and pump systems to minimize the frequency and severity of recurring flooding incidents and promote an adaptable and resilient coastal community.

Total construction costs are estimated at approximately $244.89 million, and up to nearly $120 million can be financed through the WIFIA loan.

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