Crews with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock are making good progress with the removal of sediment from the bottom of Lake Decatur.
According to Matt Newell, interim director of the Decatur Public Works Department, the works are progressing well in Basin 3, between U.S. 36 and East William Street Road, and will shut down for the year before Christmas.
The work is to resume next spring, when GLDD will be finishing dredging of Basin 3 and begin work in Basin 4, located north of William Street Road.
Newell also added that as of mid-November around 76 percent of the work is complete, saying that with this pace the whole dredging project could be finished by the end of next year.
“The dredging contractor is anticipating and is hopeful they can be done by next year,” he said. Originally, this $91 million worth project was scheduled for completion in December 2019.
Lake Decatur was constructed on the Sangamon River as a public water supply reservoir in 1920-1923. Since then natural and human caused erosion severely reduced the lake’s storage capacity.
The lake is separated by bridges into six large basins. Basin 5 was reclaimed by dredging in 1993-1994 and Basin 6 in 2004-2011. The dredging of Basins 1 through 4 began in 2014 and will continue through 2018.
Once finished, the project will increase the lake’s storage capacity by 30% or 52 days of additional water supply for the community.