Rubio, Scott urging Army Corps to fund critical Florida projects

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Florida Construction News staff writer

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott have sent a letter to Michael Connor, assistant secretary of the army – civil works, detailing critical projects in Florida they say merit new and continued funding.

The letter is in advance of the U.S. Army Corps of engineers requirement to submit a work plan for 2023 funds appropriated by Congress no later than Feb. 27.

Funding decisions “will have long-term implications for communities around the country, especially in Florida,” they said.

“It is our expectation that, of the funds allocated for the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (SFER) program, significant funding for the construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir will be allocated in the work plan,” they said. “Continuing contract clause authority for the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) and the EAA Reservoir should be approved in addition to major investment through the work plan to expedite reservoir construction and reduce the long-term cost of the project.

“Additionally, the CEPP North Validation Report must be delivered as soon as possible so a project partnership agreement with the South Florida Water Management District.”

“We request that all proposed and ongoing projects in Florida receive full and fair consideration of their value to local communities, our state, and our nation.”

Given the severity of Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, the pair is asking for “as much of these funds as practicable” to fully address hurricane impacts in the communities that were most devastated by the storms.

“We look forward to working with your office, as well as the USACE Headquarters, South Atlantic Division, and Jacksonville and Mobile District offices, to ensure sufficient resources to fund feasibility studies, preconstruction engineering and design (PED) work, and construction, as warranted throughout Florida.”

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