Luedtke Engineering is about to begin works on a $1.6 million multi-phase project that will remove sediment from the Buffalo River.
The announcement was made last week by Congressman Brian Higgins and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District Commander Lt. Col. Adam Czekanski.
“Projects like this which explore new ways to maintain and improve the environmental status of the Buffalo River play an essential role in the growing momentum along Western New York’s waterfront,” said Congressman Higgins, a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force.
“Management of dredged sediment this year in Buffalo Harbor will serve as a model for future projects seeking to beneficially use dredged material in the Great Lakes Region. It is a testament to the hard work of our many partners and the strong support of our elected officials,” said Lt. Col. Adam Czekanski, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Commander.
“Beginning with the Buffalo River environmental dredging in 2013, the quality of dredged sediment has improved to the point where it can now be used for ecosystem restoration within the Niagara River area of concern, and for a healthier Lake Erie.”
According to the announcement, work on the first phase of Buffalo River dredging is scheduled to begin this week, upstream of the South Park Bridge, and continue for approximately 30 days. During this phase, between 45,000 to 65,000 cubic yards will be relocated to Unity Island to facilitate a unique aquatic habitat and invasive species management project currently underway.
The Unity Island Aquatic and Riparian Invasive Species Management and Habitat Restoration Project, funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), is a unique demonstration project focused on the removal of aquatic invasive species from Unity Island.
Phase II is scheduled to begin mid-June in the lower portion of the Buffalo River and continue through early July. Dredged sediment during this phase will be placed in Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) #4 adjacent to the former Bethlehem Steel site.
In total, the project will remove in total between 115,000 and 135,000 cubic yards of sediment from the federal channel. The harbor requires dredging approximately every two years to maintain navigable waters. Shipments passing through the harbor generate approximately $904 million in annual business revenue and support about 5,500 direct and indirect jobs.