PHOTO: Keeping Rock Island District’s Navigation Channel Open

Photo by James Finn, USACE

Almost 1.4 million cubic yards, or 70,000 semitrailer loads – that’s the amount of material the Dredge Goetz has removed from the navigation channel in the Rock Island District over the last five years.

This figure represents only a fraction of the total amount that has been dredged by the Goetz throughout the St. Paul, Rock Island and St. Louis Districts combined since 2013.

The Goetz, based out of the St. Paul District, spent much of August and September in the Rock Island District, working in Pools 12 and 20.

For those who don’t know exactly how this hydraulic dredge works, or the purpose of dredging the navigation channel, Adrian Loewenhagen, Assistant Captain of the Dredge Goetz, has a simple explanation: “It’s like a blender attached to a vacuum cleaner hose. It stirs up the bottom and sucks it up and discharges it to wherever the authorized site is.”

As for why dredging the channel is needed, that comes down to the navigation mission and the challenges put in place by a water source as powerful as the Mississippi River.

In order to maintain a 9-foot navigation channel, material that settles in the main channel must be removed. This material, such as sand, soil and decomposing vegetation, is constantly moving around in the river and often settles into the channel as the current moves it downstream.

During dredging, the material is removed from the channel and is set aside for a variety of uses including habitat development, wetland creation, aquatic habitat enhancement, winter road maintenance, levee repair and improvement, aggregate for concrete, bank protection and general purpose fill.


Story by James Finn 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews ( holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee:

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