August 29, 2014
2:03 pm

Dredging for Dollars

As promised this fall, the St. Joseph River is getting a much-needed makeover between Riverview Drive and Marina Island.  Crews from Triple D Excavating have been scooping tons of accumulated material from the river bottom to help provide safe passage for recreational boaters who represent huge dollars to the hospitality industry across Michigan's Great Southwest.

Triple D was awarded a contract for $305,000.00 by Berrien County to complete the work by mechanically removing shoaling in the nearly 2,000 foot stretch of the river basin.  While the action comes late in the current boating season, it should help provide an early launch to the spring season next year and also paves the way for dramatically smoother sailing for charter fishing boats and larger cabin cruisers who like to maintain access to the big lake late into the season.  Dan Fette from Berrien County Community Development has often reminded boaters that the work being completed by Triple D is clearing the channel to a deep enough level that even winter shoaling should not preclude safe passage in the next boating season.

Funding for the project is coming from a state grant which is part of a more than $20-million dollar set-aside designed to help communities take on dredging projects during this time when water levels on the Great Lakes have been at abnormal historical lows. 

Fette said last month that Triple D would be pulling roughly 11,000 cubic yards of sand from the bottom of the river.  The dredge spoils are being hauled to the construction site of the Harbor Village project, and will be used by developers there once the material has been de-watered,  Scientific testing has assured officials that the spoils are pollution-free and suitable for use as fill on the resort site.
Filed Under :
Topics : Environment
Location : Berrien CountyMichigan
People : Dan Fette