Topping the list of civil works projects the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will execute this year, is a $1.1 billion effort to restore and protect South Florida’s ecosystem. In 2022, the USACE plans to implement a total of $23 billion of projects across the country.
Building Toward Increased Resiliency
As Construction Dive reports, this year, the USACE will be drawing on funds from both the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, targeting high priority civil works initiatives.The largest single budget item is the Florida Everglades, where work will include: “capturing and storing excess surface water runoff, reducing excess water releases to water conservation areas and minimizing seepage losses during dry periods.” A press release from the USACE offers this context for efforts in 2022:
“The Army will work with community partners to leverage these historic Civil Works funds for investments that strengthen national supply chains through our commercial navigation mission, help communities impacted by climate change to increase their resiliency, advance environmental justice, and invest in communities that have too often been left behind,” said The Honorable Michael L. Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
With the $17.099 billion provided in Public Law 117-58, the Army will fund Army Civil Works studies and projects, maintain existing infrastructure, and repair damage and dredge channels in response to floods and coastal storms. Through this investment in water resources infrastructure, over $5 billion will help improve community resilience in the face of global climate change and $3.936 billion will address commercial navigation improvements at coastal ports and on the inland waterways. The Army plan funds the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration program at $1.098 billion, a historic funding level that will enable significant progress in restoring Florida’s nationally significant Everglades ecosystem.
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Remember Hurricane Ida?
When Ida struck in August 2021, natural disasters were declared in four states: Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. That’s why the Army’s plans allocate funds from the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022 for studies as well as preconstruction engineering and design work in these states. As the USACE explains: “This law also provides $3 billion for construction of qualifying flood and storm damage reduction, including shore protection, projects, with $1.5 billion to be put toward projects in the four states where major disasters were declared in FY 2021 due to Hurricane Ida. The Army will use this funding, in part, to construct a total of 11 projects in FY 2022, including 5 in states where major disasters were declared due to Hurricane Ida, and 6 in other states and territories.”
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