Crews are installing a new water main on Upper Matecumbe Key. FKAA/Contributed

The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) continues replacing old water mains in the Upper Keys. Another project is planned for 2024 on Windley Key.

On December 12, the FKAA Board of Directors approved the construction, management and engineering services contracts for the Windley Key Transmission Major Replacement Project. Approximately 8,250 feet (approximately one and a half miles) of the existing 30-inch transmission main on Windley Key will be replaced with a new 36-inch cathodic protected steel water main. Work will be performed from the Whale Harbor bridge crossing to south of Snake Creek.

“Staying proactive in ensuring continued access to clean drinking water remains our top priority,” said Greg Veliz, executive director of FKAA. “The main gearbox replacement work at Windley Key represents the next phase of our efforts to harden our system for future requirements.”

With work due to begin in April 2024, it will take crews around a year to replace the main transmission facility at Windley Key. Crews work 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, pausing work for major holidays and events. While temporary taxi lane closures are expected at certain project intervals, northbound and southbound traffic flows will be maintained throughout the project. Cycle paths will also remain open and access to all businesses will be maintained.

The new water pipe, which will be laid across an open trench, will be connected to the existing pipe network and the main water taps. The new pipe will be completely protected from the corrosive effects of aggressive soils and underground tidal currents.

The Windley Key project will cost approximately $15 million. The project is funded in part by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 (WIFIA), a federal loan program. For more information, please scan the QR code and contact FKAA on Facebook and [email protected]. After-hours support is available at 305-296-2454.

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