Fishweir Creek Project Nearing Substantial Completion

Fishweir Creek Project Nearing Substantial Completion
Dredging continues in Big Fishweir and Little Fishweir creeks with substantial completion expected in the fall. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District.

The end is in sight for the ongoing project at Big Fishweir and Little Fishweir creeks.

According to US Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District Small Projects Program Manager Jim Suggs, the construction currently underway at the creeks could reach substantial completion sometime in August, barring unforeseen setbacks or discoveries.

“It’s kind of right around the corner,” he said. “The contractor’s been making good progress.”

Suggs explained that the area he calls the overreach, between U.S. 17 and the bridge traversing Herschel Street, is completed. Additionally, the staging area for the necessary construction equipment for that portion of the project, created in coordination with the City of Jacksonville, has been fully restored.

“The city has done the walk-thru with my construction guy, so we’re done up there,” he added.

Dredging is currently underway in both Big Fishweir and Little Fishweir creeks.

While the construction is underway, Suggs said several residents have inquired about the possibility of having the contractor dredge around their own private docks, which Suggs said would be doable once the contractor’s fulfilled its obligation to this project and the residents follow proper channels and obtain necessary permits to do so.

“As long as they don’t impede on the federal project, it’s simply up around those docks, they’re good,” he said.

The contractor for the project is Underwater Mechanix Services, LLC, who was awarded the contract last August. What began as an estimated $3.8 million project first increased to approximately $6.5 million in the interim years before recent inflation caused the cost to surpass $8 million, which the Army Corps and the City of Jacksonville is splitting 65% and 35% respectively.

While there are no plans to replant vegetation or native plants, Suggs explained a monitoring period will begin following construction to ensure the creeks’ aquatic ecosystem is naturally regenerating and its vegetation and habitat is returning. This monitoring will be a joint effort between the City and the Army Corps.

“As far as planting of any type of vegetation, any of that type stuff, that will not happen because the system should regenerate those types of things, that’s the way it was designed,” he said.

Suggs has been involved with this project, on and off, for more than 20 years and said it’s “great” to see the project near completion.

“The first time I touched this project was in 2002 so 21 years later to be able to tell you that construction should be substantially complete by August — yeah, that’s great,” he added.

By Michele Leivas
Resident Community News

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