Crews ready to resume Harbor and Ship Canal dredging

2013-04-03T22:00:00Z 2013-04-03T23:15:04Z Crews ready to resume Harbor and Ship Canal dredgingMary Wilds Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 03, 2013 10:00 pm  • 

EAST CHICAGO | Work will resume this week on the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal dredging project.

During a meeting Wednesday, Mike Nguyen, project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, and project managers for Kokosing Construction Company Inc.'s Durocher Marine Division and O’Brien & Gere outlined what will be the second phase for the first year of dredging. It's the first time the waterway has been dredged since 1972.

The project began last year but had to be halted when the canal froze over, said Aaron Harke, project manager for Kokosing Construction. Operators were able to dredge 94,000 cubic yards of sediment before shutting down for winter.

The companies are on track to remove 300,000 cubic yards this spring, with crews working six to seven days a week in 12-hour shifts. Work sites this spring will be in the harbor, near the turning basin and ArcelorMittal’s "6 dock” area.

The canal is a federal waterway, Nguyen said, and has not been dredged since before the implementation of the Clean Water Act. Once the project is complete, the waterway will be deep enough to meet federal standards.

Nguyen, Harke and O’Brien & Gere project manager Scott McQueen talked about the project's impact on residents and commuters, particularly those who use the Indianapolis Boulevard bridge.

The bridge will be open roughly 15 times every day, with less than half of those openings during peak, weekday traffic times, they said.

Air quality will be monitored in real time during the project, McQueen said. Alarms sound when a problem is spotted. Last year only one issue had to be addressed. It involved dust from on-site heavy equipment, he said. Crews were able to address the problem with water.

Residents can look at air monitoring data at www.indianaharbordredge.com, McQueen said. The Indiana Harbor project website is www.lrc.usace.army/mil/Missions/CivilWorksProjects/IndianaHarbor.aspx.

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