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Corps of Engineers expedites Muskegon Harbor dredging, could begin Friday

Posted on June 8, 2022

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials anticipate Muskegon Harbor dredging could begin as early as Friday or Saturday depending on weather.

The President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget included operations and maintenance funding for Muskegon Harbor with the Corps of Engineers expecting to award a contract later in the year. However, the commercial bulk carrier M/V Kaye E. Barker ran aground on a sand bar at the harbor’s entrance April 28.

“Winter ice and waves can move a lot of material around in the water,” said Muskegon Harbor Project Manager Mike Allis. “The Detroit District quickly sent a survey vessel from our Grand Haven office to check the area following the grounding.” 

Survey results showed considerable shoaling in the outer harbor, ranging from 18 to 27 feet below low water datum. With the shoaling adversely affecting the harbor’s commercial navigation, the Corps of Engineers quickly began working on a dredging contract, awarding a nearly $1 million contract to King Co., Inc, of Holland, Michigan, June 2.

“We were notified of the grounding the morning of April 29,” said Detroit District Commander Lt. Col. Scott Katalenich. “To get all the pieces in place and award on June 2 is just phenomenal. We were anticipating it would take until late June, but the team really hit this out of the park.”

King Company will dredge an estimated 126,500 cubic yards of material, beneficially reusing it as nearshore nourishment material in the area. The public should remain clear of placement area beginning 3,500 feet south of the Muskegon breakwater and extending south. Fencing and signs will indicate nearshore placement areas. 

“The contractor is currently dredging at Grand Haven and planning beach nourishment projects in South Haven and St. Joseph harbors next,” said Allis. “However, with the Muskegon Harbor shoaling causing major impacts to commercial navigation we will direct them to Muskegon instead. This will delay the South Haven and St. Joseph harbor beach nourishment work to later in the season, but we will get them back to those harbors as quickly as possible.” 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, maintains a navigation system including 84 harbors and channels joining lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie

The Detroit District provides vital public engineering services in peace and war to secure our Nation, protect the environment, energize our economy, and reduce risks from natural disasters.

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