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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Awards Contract to Repair Vermilion Harbor West Pier

Posted on February 12, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District awarded a $6.3 million  contract to Chicago-based Architectural Consulting Group, Ltd. on Jan. 30 for repairs to the Vermilion Harbor West Pier.

Repairs to the pier are scheduled to take place this summer, and ensure the ongoing economic viability of the harbor, which generates an estimated $6.9 million in revenue for the local economy.

“Continuing to improve the condition and reliability of Vermilion’s piers is critical to their function,” said Lt. Col. Colby Krug, Commander of the Buffalo District. “We’re proud to continue to improve and maintain navigation structures across Ohio, ensuring safety and navigation for both commercial and private vessels across the Great Lakes.”

“As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee, my focus in Washington is ensuring that federal dollars are used responsibly to rebuild maritime infrastructure to protect Lake Erie and aid our coastal communities. The further reconstruction work that the US Army Corps of Engineers will undertake to repair the Vermilion Harbor West Pier is historic,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09). “It will begin in May and will conclude this fall, and will be a major step forward for the resiliency of Vermillion’s harbor infrastructure. I look forward to being there in person to witness its completion. We must continue to work with our local communities and the Corps’ to identify other projects that can continue to improve our Great Lakes infrastructure.”

Repairs to approximately 400 feet at the south end of the west pier along Wakefield MetroPark will include installation of a soldier pile wall and sheet pile lagging connected to subsurface rock and bedrock, and re-installation of cut stone to form revetments.

Construction is scheduled to begin in May and be completed by fall 2024.

This project is 100% federally funded.

Work will be conducted by marine barges along the pier and will utilize portions of the federal navigation channel in the Vermilion River. Marine traffic will not be obstructed, but boaters should exercise caution when navigating. The Wakefield MetroPark will be closed during construction, to be utilized as a laydown and staging area for equipment and materials.

The Buffalo District completed $1.2 million in repairs to approximately 900 feet of the west pier from the beach to the north wrap in 2023.

Dredging of the Vermilion River federal navigation channel by USACE is scheduled to take place in July 2024.

Vermilion Harbor is on the south shore of Lake Erie at the mouth of the Vermilion River, about 37 miles west of Cleveland and 21 miles east of Sandusky. It is a small-craft harbor originally authorized by the River & Harbor Act and constructed in 1836 by the federal government. The West Pier is 1,333 feet long.

Boating trip and annual craft spending at Vermilion Harbor generates an estimated $6.9 million in revenues to accommodations, restaurants, retail, boat repair, and other services and industries and supports a total of 44.5 full-time equivalent jobs, $3.3 million in labor income, $4.4 million in the gross regional product, and $7.3 million in economic output in the local impact area.


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