USACE Marks Start of 2016 Indiana Harbor Dredging Program

This year’s dredging at Indiana Harbor, happening 24/7, began on September 13, and will continue through winter 2016, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District.

The current dredging and confined disposal facility (CDF) operation is being done by a joint venture between Durocher Marine (a division of Kokosing Construction Company, Inc.) and O’Brien & Gere.

This contract started in 2011 and will end on September 30, 2016, with 2016 dredging scheduled to be completed before September 30, 2016.

A new dredging and CDF operation contract will then be awarded to continue work from October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2021. The local sponsor is the East Chicago Waterway Management District.

The existing navigation project consists of a harbor channel ranging in depth from 27 to 29 feet low water datum and two canals with depths of 22 feet.

Contaminated sediment and a lack of a suitable storage place for the sediment lead to the harbor not being dredged from 1972 to 2012. Since 2012, nearly 1 million cubic yards of sediment has been removed from the waterway and confined, greatly reducing the contaminants that had previously been washing into Lake Michigan and improving the efficiency of deep draft commercial navigation.

Over the next few years, the entire federal channel will be dredged to congressionally-authorized navigation depths, including the removal of sediments in adjacent berthing and docking areas at the local sponsors (nonfederal) expense.

The project includes the operation and maintenance of the CDF on an USEPA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) site in East Chicago, Ind.

In addition to providing storage for the dredged sediment, the CDF isolates and contains the existing on-site soil and groundwater contamination in compliance with RCRA requirements.

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