EAST CHICAGO | The Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal dredging project has been temporarily suspended because of maintenance work being performed on the Dickey Road Bridge.
Mike Nguyen, project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, told the East Chicago Waterway Management District board last week that dredging was suspended April 13. He said the work in the harbor's turning basin is expected to resume Saturday.
Nguyen said 94,000 cubic yards of sediment were removed from the project's starting date of Oct. 23, 2012, through Dec. 23, when operations were halted due to the winter weather.
The dredging project resumed on April 3.
Polluted sediment dredged from the waters is placed in a confined disposal facility within the city.
Nguyen said since dredging has not been performed in the waterway for 40 years, about 1.6 million cubic yards of "backlogged material" has accumulated in the harbor and canal.
He defined that material as sediments in the channel that are above the federal depth.
"The next between eight and 10 years, depending on funding, we're going to be dredging every year until we get all of the backlogged material," Nguyen said.