Three construction teams will beef up repair work at Lake Okeechobee's aging dike in South Florida.
The Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $29 million contract on Wednesday to Hayward Baker of Maryland. A reinforcing wall is being built through the middle of the earthen dike and a supporting berm will be added around the outside. Two other companies were already approved to start work this month.
The 143-mile, 70-year-old Herbert Hoover Dike protects lakeside communities from flooding.
The companies will shore up the most vulnerable section, a 22-mile stretch between Port Mayaca and Belle Glade.
The project is projected to cost more than $800 million and take until 2030.
Summer storms prompted the corps to start dumping lake water out to sea to ease the strain on the dike.