St. Joseph Harbor dredging starts soon

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will early next month begin St. Joseph Harbor emergency dredging, expediting the process to restore critical navigation.

USACE identified a shoal restricting the channel depth during this year’s annual channel survey. In some areas the restriction was as little as 13 feet below low water datum, effectively closing the inner harbor to commercial navigation.

“This is a true team effort,” said Detroit District Project Manager Alicia Smith. “We worked with Congressman Fred Upton’s office, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the City of St. Joseph and local sponsors to award this contract in an expedited manner to restore critical navigation.”

St. Joseph harbor is a deep draft commercial harbor with stakeholders receiving limestone, sand, gravel, armor stone, cement, slag, salt and petroleum products.

Muskegon, Michigan, headquartered Great Lakes Dock & Materials L.L.C. received the $442,000 contract to dredge about 11,500 cubic yards of material from St. Joseph Harbor on Lake Michigan’s southeastern side in Berrien County.

The contractor will place the dredged material at the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport where it can be made available for beneficial use. Smith anticipates the dredging to be complete by June 21, 2021.

Photo: Great Lakes Dock & Materials L.L.C.