In the 1950s, a 173-square-mile area in the Florida Everglades was sliced up with hundreds of miles of roads and canals, and sold off by the acre to 19,000 people from throughout the world who wanted a piece of sunny Florida. While converting the swampland into real estate plots, the developer effectively diverted the Everglades southward flow and unsettled a fragile ecosystem.
When the developer went bankrupt, the land sat idle for decades until the U.S. government and the State of Florida combined forces to buy the land and begin a process of restoring the Everglades’ natural flow into Florida Bay through the $600 million Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.
In 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors finished a project in the Picayune Strand that filled in 48 miles of canals, leveled 260 miles of roads and dikes and built the massive Faka Union pumping station to push water into the 55,000-acre area of the Florida Everglades. The project restored water flow across the landscape, rehydrated drained wetlands, provided aquifer recharge, improved estuarine waters and returned habitat to threatened wildlife communities.
The Picayune Strand restoration project involved using dozers to level roads and dikes; loaders to remove and relocate dirt and rocks; rollers to level roads; excavators with hammers to pulverize rock that was ground into fill; excavators to dig out the area for the pump station, as well as back fill canals and position rip-rap at the pump station; plate compactors to compress excavated soil; and small pumps to drain water. As the project’s deadline neared, operators worked nights under the glow of light towers.
The project’s equipment was delivered from and maintained by the Neff Rental Fort Myers, FL, branch, which was about 40 miles from the Picayune Strand job site (Neff Rental has since opened a new Naples, FL location to better serve this area). Mechanics were on call 24/7 to service the equipment when needed, enabling the contractors to complete the job on time.
When working on an environmental mitigation project, call Neff Rental at 888-709-NEFF or visit us at localhost/neffrental for equipment, 24/7 service and support, and on-time deliveries.