Working with the Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative Inc., RS&H helped reduce impacts to wetlands and gopher tortoises as part of an underground power line project within the Cypress Creek Wellfield (CCWF). The project involved installing six miles of underground power line to provide a looped power supply for 13 production wells within the CCWF. The impacts affected both the Tampa Bay Water portion of the CCWF and the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) portion of the Cypress Creek Preserve.
Existing overhead electric remained, and the underground line was installed beneath existing power lines, except in places where RS&H shifted the alignment to avoid wetlands of potentially occupied gopher tortoise burrows. By shifting the alignment, the team was able to reduce the number of impacted burrows by more than half. For wetland impacts that were unavoidable, we obtained permits from the SWFWMD and performed gopher tortoise relocation on site.