According to AMM.com, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is slated to start dredging operations at the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal in September.
The project is eagerly welcomed by ArcelorMittal USA lnc., which has a facility on the waterway and expects to more efficiently receive material as a result of the project.
“The dredging is critical to ArcelorMittal’s operations,” a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based steelmaker told AMM, noting that the company had been lightening vessels for years so they could safely navigate the waterways. “The overdue dredging will allow vessels to safely maintain normal volumes, thus reducing the number of trips a vessel must make to complete shipment.”
The harbor has not been dredged since 1972. As a result, up to 200,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment flow to Lake Michigan each year, including 67,000 pounds of chromium and 100,000 pounds of lead, Corps studies show. Much of that contamination is the result of previous industrial activity at the steelworks.
AMM reports that the S180-million harbor project includes a confined disposal facility, built last year on the site of a former oil refinery. It will hold nearly 26 million cubic yards of sediment.
The Army Corps awarded a contract for the dredging portion of the project last September.
Dredging Today Staff, July 4, 2012