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Volvo CE excavator and dumpers are working at the C-43 project site

Restoring the Everglades

The challenges of constructing on swampland

Restoring the Everglades

Tough regulations, uneven soil and risk for hurricanes. These all call for top-notch expertise, thorough planning and the right equipment when building the C-43 water reservoir.

The one thing that really strikes you when overlooking the area that is home to the construction of the C-43 water reservoir is: it is vast. The actual size is over 47 square kilometers (10,000 acres) which basically makes it almost as big as Manhattan. The creation of massive eight-meter-tall wall embankments around the whole reservoir requires moving millions of tons of material, and it all needs to be done exactly the right way. The engineering work is crucial when you need to ensure that the walls withstand the pressures of billions of liters/gallons of water trying to break through when the reservoir is full. 

After Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revised its standards for the design and construction of dams, levees and reservoirs. Lane Construction-Salini Impregilo was chosen for the C-43 water reservoir project thanks to the expertise within the company – having worked on some of the largest waterway projects in the world, including the the expansion of the Panama Canal and the Rogun hydroelectric dam in Tajikistan. The earthmoving is also of gigantic proportions – around 20 million cubic yards of material will be moved – which makes the expertise even more important. 

The earthmoving also deals with a lot of different kinds of soils that need layering for the dam walls in a specific order to add integrity, including a layer of soil bentonite 4 meters (ca 13 feet) thick. This area of Florida also sits at or below sea level, adding drainage challenges to the excavation work.

A man, Massimo Bugliosi, in helmet and vest in the office
Massimo Bugliosi, Project Director at Lane Construction-Salini Impregilo.

“You need to plan all the activities in the right sequence and be sure that you use the right equipment for every layer of soil and for every part of the build, which is complex. It calls for exact planning,” explains Massimo Bugliosi, Project Director, Lane Construction-Salini Impregilo.

Another challenge is something that no one can control. The weather in South Florida is at times rough – and hurricanes come to visit annually. There is no doubt that the Lane Construction-Salini Impregilo team is aware of this – and takes precautions. 

“The risk of being delayed or impacted by a hurricane is a fact. We calculate for it, and keep a strict planning schedule,” says Massimo Bugliosi. 

Expertise and good planning are key to meet the challenges on-site, alongside the absolute need for the right equipment. Lane Construction-Salini Impregilo has chosen Volvo CE haulers and excavators for the extensive job.

“We ended up choosing Volvo equipment because it is versatile and can handle the mixes of different kinds of soil and for any kind of situation. Basically, we feel more comfortable knowing that we have the best equipment with us on this job,” finishes Massimo Bugliosi.

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The C-43 reservoir will be able to hold 200 billion liters of water and is set to be finished in 2023. Learn all the facts.

Ivey Spivey grew up on a farm and machines have always been a part of his life. Now he is a superintendent on-site in the construction of the C-43 reservoir.

The waterflows in the Everglades in Florida are damaged after more than a century of draining. The build of the massive C-43 water reservoir will help restore the flows.