USA: Budget Provides USD 92 Million for Great Lakes Navigation

The President’s fiscal year 2013 budget provides $4.7 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works program with almost $92 million for Great Lakes navigation projects in the Buffalo, Chicago, and Detroit Districts.

The funding includes $84.7 million for the operation and maintenance program and $7 million for the construction general program. The operation and maintenance program includes funding for the maintenance of federal shipping channels and harbors on the Great Lakes and operation and maintenance of the Black Rock Lock in Buffalo, N.Y.; Chicago Lock in Chicago, Ill.; and the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The budget also includes funds for critical operations and maintenance of confined disposal facilities and maintenance of federal navigation structures at some of the most deteriorated harbors in the Great Lakes.

The funding provided to Great Lakes Navigation through the President’s fiscal year 2013 budget will allow our regional team to continue to deliver great dividends to the region and to the nation. Our budget will allow us to fund the highest-priority projects that provide the greatest return on investment and will assist the Corps in supporting the President’s priorities of jobs, a strengthened economy, environmental protection and enhancement, and improved resiliency and safety of infrastructure,” said Lt. Col. Mike Derosier, district engineer, Detroit District.

Included in the fiscal year 2013 budget is $31.0 million for dredging of 15 commercial harbors and navigation channels including projects in: Mich. — Detroit River, Grand Haven, Holland, Manistee, Muskegon, and Saginaw River; Ohio – Ashtabula, Cleveland, Conneaut, Sandusky, and Toledo Harbor; Minn. – Duluth; Wis. — Green Bay; and Ind. – Calumet and Indiana Harbors. Dredging these 15 projects will remove approximately 2.4 million cubic yards of material from navigation channels to facilitate the safe and efficient waterborne transportation of commercial cargo.

In addition to dredging at Indiana Harbor, the fiscal year 2013 budget also includes funding for operation of the new Indiana Harbor confined disposal facility. Funds were also provided for confined disposal facility work at Duluth – Superior (Minn. -Wis.), Calumet (Ind. and Ill.), Saginaw (Mich.), and Cleveland (Ohio); these projects have confined disposal facilities that are nearly full. The fiscal year 2013 budget also includes $7 million in funding in the construction general account for construction of a dredged material disposal facility at Green Bay, Wisc. (Cat Island disposal facility). This will continue work that will begin in fiscal year 2012 under partnership with U.S. EPA.

The President’s Budget also provided $3.1 million for Soo Locks Asset Renewal, a program that is improving the reliability of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., which is a vitally important link in the Great Lakes navigation system. The $3.1 million will be used to continue procurement and construction of a new compressed air system at the Soo, which is critical to operations during the cold winter months. This project will be initiated in fiscal year.


Dredging Today Staff, February 21, 2012