Gowanus Canal dredging in full swing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently began historic full-scale dredging of Gowanus Canal Superfund Site in Brooklyn, New York.

This is a major milestone in the history of one of the nation’s most contaminated waterways.

According to EPA, the dredging and capping will take place in the upper canal – denominated as Remediation Target Area (RTA) 1 – which includes the 1st Street turning basin and a portion of the 5th Street turning basin.

The dredging comes after years of detailed engineering, scientific studies, and design work. In preparation for the construction, a dock was installed at the end of Huntington Street and dredge and hopper barges started mobilizing to the Canal in October.

“Full scale dredging is a welcome and long-awaited step toward full cleanup of the polluted Gowanus Canal,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. “Though this project is years from completion, we are on an ambitious timeline for cleanup of our first Superfund site in the City.”

The contractors are now officially dredging the main channel of the Gowanus Canal just south of the Carroll Street bridge.

An excavator mounted on a platform barge will remove contaminated sediment from the bottom of the Canal. The dredged material will be loaded onto barges and transported down the Canal to the primary staging area at the end of Huntington Street, where it will be dewatered.

The dewatered sediment will be transferred onto larger barges and transported to an off-site facility in New Jersey for further processing.

It is anticipated that the dredging in this portion of the Canal will be completed in fall 2022, with capping to be completed in mid-2023.

Photo: EPA

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