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Army Corps engineer provides update on harbor dredging, beach restoration projects in St. Joseph, South Haven; King Co dredge redeployed

Posted on July 27, 2022

The St. Joseph harbor dredging project is underway.

With Roen Salvage Co. on site and dredging St. Joseph’s inner harbor this week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District said the delayed outer harbor dredging and beach nourishment project by is set to begin around Aug. 1.

King Co., the company contracted for the outer harbor projects in St. Joseph and South Haven, was originally scheduled for June, but was re-routed to Muskegon after a freighter ran aground in the Muskegon harbor.

Grand Haven Resident Engineer Elizabeth Wilkinson said the dredging in Muskegon is still ongoing, but the King Co. has another dredge up and running.

“They are planning to mobilize that dredge, tow it to St. Joseph and start dredging by the 1st,” Wilkinson said. “They’ll be there about a week to 10 days, and then head to South Haven.”

Dredging is done every year to remove excess sediment from the river to ensure a clear pathway for marine travel. The material from the inner harbor in St. Joseph will be trucked to the airport, while the outer harbor sediment will be used to replenish Lions Park Beach. South Haven sediment will be placed along South Beach.

“The outer harbor dredging is actually beach nourishment funded, so we’re getting double benefit,” said Wilkinson, of the outer harbor projects. “That will provide nourishment to the beaches, as well as clear out the navigation channel.”

St. Joseph Harbormaster Michael Moran said last week he intends to document the projects to educate residents.

“I’ll be taking video showing the clamshell crane digging in the river, the barges getting loaded, the barges arriving at the dock, barges being unloaded into truck and following the trucks to the airport dump site,” he said. “That way [people] can understand what dredging is, how it works and why its so important.”


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