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Caloosahatchee Connect Cape-side groundbreaking set for Thursday

By Staff | Mar 21, 2023

More information about the joint pipeline project may be found at www.CaloosahatcheeConnect.com .

A $20 million project that ultimately will provide Cape Coral with a daily inflow of millions of gallons water for irrigation purposes is set to commence work on the Cape’s side of river.

The city of Cape will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Caloosahatchee Connect project at 10 a.m. Thursday at Horton Park, 2600 S.E. 26th Place.

The Caloosahatchee Connect Project is a large reclaimed water pipeline the city is constructing between Cape Coral and Fort Myers that will provide up to 12 million gallons per day of additional irrigation and fire protection services water to residents.

The project, which is estimated to cost $19.7 million, with $12.4 million paid for via grants, is expected to be completed by February 2024.

The grant money is no small thing, said Kaitlyn Mullen, a city of Cape Coral spokesperson.

“Grant funding benefits the city because it eliminates the need for repayment while helping provide beneficial services to residents of Cape Coral at no cost to them,” she said.

After years of effort, Cape Coral and Fort Myers entered into the interlocal agreement to construct the pipeline in 2018, giving the city a source for water it needs and Fort Myers a way to dispose of its treated wastewater in a way that is more environmentally friendly than discharging it into the river. The agreement allows Cape Coral to purchase the reclaimed water that Fort Myers that would otherwise discharge.

“The additional irrigation water source will reduce withdrawals from freshwater canals and help maintain water levels during the dry season,” said Mullen, listing a primary benefit to the city.

Each municipality is responsible for components of the project.

The city will utilize Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) to install pipe underneath the Caloosahatchee River while Fort Myers will utilize microtunneling to install a portion of the reclaimed water main underneath busy intersections along the pipeline route.

The city will construct a reclaimed water transmission main from the Everest water reclamation facility to a connection point in Fort Myers near the Midpoint Bridge at Horton Park, which has been completed.

The purchase order for the subaqueous section was issued last June, with construction on that part originally set to begin sometime in February, with Amici Construction conducting the underwater drill. However, there were delays in materials that delayed the project.

The pipeline will be installed under the river with an exit point located in the greenspace on San Marcos in Fort Myers.

The city of Fort Myers will then connect the reclaimed water main to their South Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Crews this week are expected to conduct road right-of-way restoration and cleanup on Everest Parkway, with grade and sod on 1911-1825 Everest Pkwy.

Residents are reminded to ensure that personal property items are removed from the right-of-way. The contractor has marked trees remaining in the right-of-way that must be removed. If the property owner does not relocate the personal property items or the landscaping, the contractor will remove and dispose of them.