Lower Rouge River cleanup gets USACE approval

Wikimedia Commons/Jason Helle
Wikimedia Commons/Jason Helle – Lower Rouge River Recreational Trail

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

Great Lakes Dock and Materials (GLDM) from Muskegon, Michigan, will receive approximately US$16 million to dredge and cap portions of the Lower Rouge River Old Channel (LRROC) in southwest Detroit, Michigan. LRROC is a highly industrialised 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 (GLRI).

Since 2010, EPA has been working under a Great Lakes Legacy Act partnership with non-federal sponsor Honeywell to investigate, design, and clean up a 1.2-kilometre stretch of LRROC. The recently awarded contract is the last phase of this multi-year effort.

The project includes installation of temporary shoreline protection to stabilise the shoreline during dredging, removal of approximately 53,000 cubic metres of toxic sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from four hectares of the river bottom, and placing a cap in areas where dredging is not feasible.

As part of the project, GLDM will remove large debris, including at least a dozen vehicles. After dredging, GLDM will restore the site.

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

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