• Dewatering of canal and farm ditches to elevation 0.0 using 24 in hydraulic pumps
  • Blasting of 12,700 lf of 40 ft wide canal 
  • Excavation of 12,700 lf of canal to elevation -2.0
  • Placement of muck on rock core spoil pile embankment to minimum elevation of 15.5
  • Installation of drainage culverts

Great Lakes Environmental & Infrastructure (Great Lakes E&I) was contracted to provide services for the RS-G341 Conveyance Improvements project for the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) in Belle Glade, Florida. Dewatering of the project area was completed after the installation of cofferdams to block off water from the existing Bolles Canal to the east and west of the project. Four cofferdams were constructed and dewatering was completed in three sections using 12 to 24 in diameter hydraulic pumps. Following dewatering of each section, muck within the proposed excavation and spoil pile embankment footprint was removed and stockpiled outside the proposed embankment footprint. Muck was removed to expose a limestone rock layer beneath the muck. Once muck was removed, the proposed canal excavation cross section was drilled and blasted to break up the limestone rock layer within the proposed footprint of the new canal.


Following blasting, the canal was excavated using a Caterpillar 374 excavator to an elevation -2.0 (depth of approximately 8 ft from surface of rock layer). Excavated material was used to construct the rock core for the spoil pile embankment adjacent to the canal for flood control, and rock material was placed in lifts using a Caterpillar D6 bulldozer. Dewatering during the excavation of the canal was maintained at an elevation 0.0. Using smaller Caterpillar 330 size excavators and D6 dozers, stockpiled muck was placed and compacted atop the rock core to increase the spoil pile embankment elevation. The minimum elevation of the completed spoil pile embankment was elevation 15.5. Farm ditches were blasted and excavated in a similar manner, with rock excavated from the farm ditches used to construct adjacent farm roads. Drainage culverts were installed at the ends of the farm ditches to facilitate the movement of irrigation water to and from fields adjacent to the project.