TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — President Donald Trump is promising to speed up repairs to the 80-year-old dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee.

The White House announced late Thursday that the president ordered officials to accelerate repairs to the aging earthen barrier overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has pushed to complete the repairs and earlier this year convinced legislators to set aside $50 million of state money for the project.

The corps is halfway through a $1.7 billion renovation program, scheduled for completion in 2025. Scott wants to see the project finished by 2022. That would require increased spending of $200 million annually, up from the $50 million to $150 million that has been budgeted annually over the last decade.

Okeechobee is the second-largest natural freshwater lake in the continental U.S.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.