Portage Canal dredging set for fall 2020

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will start construction later this summer or early fall on Segment 2 of the Portage Canal, located in the City of Portage.


Dredging of the nearly three-quarter mile long portion of the Portage Canal was delayed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic which prevented the necessary on-site work needed to maintain the project’s original timeline for completion.

The project is a continuation of remediation work on the approximately 2.5-mile canal, which connects the Wisconsin River to the Fox River in the city of Portage.

Previous work completed during the summer of 2016 included dredging of Segment 1 of the canal, coinciding with the construction of the Columbia County Administration and the Health and Human Services Buildings.

“The project has been delayed by a season because of work restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Scott Inman, DNR Water Resources Engineer. “The good news is the project is ready once again to move forward. The necessary contracts, permits and agreements are on track to be complete and for efforts to start this summer or early fall. With this year’s preparation work, a full season of dredging should take place in 2021.”

Work planned for this year includes preparation for next year’s dredging, such as a preconditions survey, installation of erosion controls and the installation of a security fence around a sediment processing pad on DNR-owned property located near the Canadian Pacific Railroad bridge.

Crews will also raze the existing DNR buildings at that site, install temporary facilities, clear utilities and prepare temporary roads.