Picayune Strand Restoration, Miller Pump Station
Naples, Fla.
Award of Merit

Owner: South Florida Water Management District
Contractor: Archer Western
Lead Design Firm: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Environmental Consultant: Turrell, Hall & Associates Inc.
Materials Testing Consultant: GFA International Inc.

The Miller Pump Station is a critical element of the Picayune Strand Restoration, which will restore more than 55,000 acres of native wetlands and uplands located between Interstate 75 and the Tamiami Trail in southwest Florida. The project entailed plugging 48 miles of previously dug canals and removing 285 miles of roads and 62 miles of logging trams. With a capacity of 1,250 cu ft per second, the pump station will discharge to a discharge bay that will fill and flow over a weir to the 70-acre spreader basin on the downstream side.

Archer Western implemented a site-specific health and safety program that fostered an environment where worker safety was paramount. In addition to tool box talks, audits and daily job and task hazard analysis meetings, the contractor emphasized its Good Catch program, which rewards employees for catching, correcting and speaking up about potential onsite safety issues.

The project was governed by both OSHA and EM385 guidelines, which required taking appropriate measures to protect personnel and property from the effects of severe weather. With the southwest Florida area prone to thunderstorms, lightning and hurricanes, the contractor’s severe weather plan included monitoring and suspending construction activities if lightning was observed within 10 miles of the site. During the summer, this meant frequent shutdowns. The safety measures worked, as the project achieved a perfect lost-time accident rate.