Environmental cleanup to remove sediment, debris in Lower Rouge River beginning

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), awarded a contract to clean up the old channel in the Lower Rouge River.

Great Lakes Dock and Materials from Muskegon, Michigan will receive approximately $16 million to dredge and cap portions of the Lower Rouge River Old Channel in southwest Detroit, Michigan. The channel is a highly industrialized federal navigation channel adjacent to Zug Island in the Rouge River. This project is part of a larger effort to restore the Rouge River Area of Concern through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

“This is a major milestone for the cleanup of the Rouge River and yet another example of the continuing progress being made under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The contaminated sediments being removed represent the legacy of over a century of waste discharge to the river,” said Christopher Korleski, Director, Great Lakes National Program Office, EPA.

Since 2010, EPA has been working under a Great Lakes Legacy Act partnership with non-federal sponsor, Honeywell, Inc., to investigate, design and clean up a 0.75-mile stretch of the channel. The recently awarded contract is the last phase of this multi-year effort.

The project includes installation of temporary shoreline protection to stabilize the shoreline during dredging, removal of approximately 70,000 cubic yards of toxic sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from 10 acres of the river bottom and placing a cap in areas where dredging is not feasible. As part of the project, Great Lakes Dock and Materials will remove large debris, including at least a dozen vehicles. After dredging, the company will restore the site.

The Corps will oversee the dredging, capping and restoration of the channel for EPA. Cleanup is scheduled to be completed in June 2020.

Maritime Editorial