The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District, expects to begin in the
next few weeks the dredging of approximately 25,000 cubic yards at the Burns
Small Boat Harbor in Portage.
Meanwhile, the Corps has already commence dredging some 45,000 cubic yards
at the Michigan City Harbor.
In July the Corps awarded a contract, in the amount of $551,000, to King
Company Inc. for both operations.
Dredging ensures that waterways remain safe for boating, Corps project
engineer Roberto Paredes said in a statement released Tuesday. “Many times
sediment will build up along the bottom of these channels and harbors,
raising the elevation of the floor and providing an obstruction for passage
of these boats. Hurricane Sandy recently caused a lot of displacement of
sediment in the Great Lakes region, providing an opportunity to provide
beach nourishment and replacement for the adjacent Indiana Dunes.”
The sand dredged from the Burns Small Boat Harbor will be placed in the
water along the beach at Ogden Dunes. The sand dredged from the federal
channel at Michigan City Harbor will be placed upland on Mt. Baldy Beach.
Dredging is funded by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 to
improve and streamline disaster assistance for Hurricane Sandy and for other
purposes, the statement said. “Though the majority of the Chicagoland area
saw negligible effects from the storm that hit the coast late last October,
some harbors received significant impacts, including severe shoaling, which
created a high risk for vessels to run aground.”
The contractor has submitted a notice to mariners and has committed not to
impede navigation or the public use of the breakwater, harbor, and beaches.