Palm Beach County, Florida

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P&J Role

Prime Contractor

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Completion Date


Project Description

The C-51 Reservoir is a regional alternative water supply project for Southeast Florida designed to capture excess storm water currently wasted to tide and causing harm to the Lake Worth Lagoon. The stored water will then be used to replenish the surficial and Biscayne Aquifers throughout the region for public water supply purposesConstruction of Phase I is the result of regional collaboration beginning in 2006 between public water utilities located in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties; the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD); the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP); Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD); Palm Beach Aggregates (PBA); local governments; and other interested parties. 

The project site has unique geology for South Florida because it holds water independent of the surrounding water table, which allows for deep-water storage primarily below groundLocated in Western Palm Beach County, the C-51 Reservoir is at the intersection of primary drainage canals and water management infrastructure. It is immediately adjacent to the SFWMD L-8 Flow Equalization Basin (FEB), which is a critical component of Restoration Strategies to meet water quality targets for the Everglades ecosystem. The C-51 Reservoir will connect to the L-8 FEB and be operated by SFWMD in a coordinated fashion for the benefit of water supply and the environment 

Phase I will provide 14,000 acre-feet of storage and be approximately 36 feet deep with the majority of the storage below ground. It will also include engineered levees, concrete spillways and armoring, control structures, and other facilities. Phase I will provide sustainable recharge of the Biscayne Aquifer through the existing South Florida regional canal network, allowing for the withdrawal of 35 million gallonsperday of water by the eight (8) participating utilities – Broward County, Sunrise, Hallandale Beach, Dania Beach, Margate, Pompano Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami-Dade CountyConstruction of Phase I will take two years, and the reservoir will be operational in January of 2024. 

A future Phase II could add an additional 46,000 acre-feet of storage over time, which could be used to combat saltwater intrusion and assist with the restoration of the Lake Worth Lagoon and Loxahatchee River, as well as for additional alternative water supply needs and environmental purposes. 

Project Highlights


CY Embankment Fill


LF Soil-Bentonite Slurry Wall


CY Roller Compacted Concrete


LF 96" TBM Tunneling


Gated Water Control Structure


Cell Excavation


CY Riprap & Bedding Material

P&J’s Contribution

As the Construction Manager at Risk for the C-51 Reservoir project, P&J completed various activities associated with the Pre-Construction Services Phase of the project which include the following:  

  • Review of the project design for completeness and value engineering
  • Development of Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) estimates
  • Development of a Site Safety & Emergency Response Plan
  • Development of a Quality Management Plan
  • Development of an Environmental Management Plan that details programs for stormwater pollution prevention and other environmental issues which require compliance with permits and regulations
  • Establishment of a project Cost & Schedule Control Plan
  • Pre-qualification and selection of subcontractors
  • Development of a Procurement Plan
  • Development of a Project Execution Plan for the management and control of work activities
  • Development of a Site Mobilization Plan
C-51 Reservoir

P&J mobilized to construct the C-51 Reservoir in early 2021. The reservoir embankment consists of material located on site and is protected on the inside by Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) plating. The embankment incorporates a soil- bentonite slurry way that will be installed to a depth of 48’. The embankment also contains a perforated toe drain located in the upstream toe of the embankment to capture any water that may get trapped behind the RCC plating during drawdown operations. P&J is also constructing a 6,500 LF RCC spillway section that is 27’ in height. The water conveyance system for the project starts in the existing L-8 reservoir where crews will install a riprap lined channel that will get water into a newly constructed gated control structure. Crews will install two 96” tunnels utilizing a TBM to connect the structure to the C-51 Reservoir.