a large pipe laying on the side of a road
New water transmission pipe is placed into the ground in Islamorada. FKAA/Contributed

Crews have reached the halfway mark on the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority’s (FKAA) Islamorada Transmission Main Replacement Project about two months ahead of schedule. With 11,000 linear feet of the new 36-inch transmission main installed between MM 80 and MM 82, crews are continuing to work northbound toward MM 84.

“I want to thank the top-notch crew we have working 24/7, Monday through Friday on this legacy project that will ensure access to clean drinking water for many years to come,” said Greg Veliz, FKAA executive director. “Their continuous commitment to support the business community, residents and visitors is such an integral part of the success of this project.”

While traffic has been flowing steadily without major delays along U.S. 1, a rolling lane closure of 1,000 to 1,500 feet has been in effect at the work zone, which is currently near MM 82. To support the businesses and those traveling, the rolling lane closure is being suspended for major holidays and events, like July 4th and lobster mini-season.

Last April, crews began installing the new transmission main via open-cut trench installation along U.S. 1. Additionally, 900 feet of new transmission main has been installed underwater at Tea Table Relief bridge crossing via horizontal directional drill (HDD), to protect it from high winds and storm surges. An additional main will be installed via HDD at the Whale Harbor bridge crossing.


This project is being funded with $35 million in grants and $7 million through low-interest loans. To abide by the grant requirements, materials have been sourced from U.S.-based companies, including the American spiral-welded steel pipe from South Carolina and the iron and steel butterfly valves.

The water main project is slated for completion in February 2025, but traffic impacts are expected to lessen after March 2024.