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Indiana Harbor and Canal Dredging and Disposal Project

Welcome to the web site for the Indiana Harbor and Canal Dredging and Disposal Project. This project is designed to dredge and dispose of Indiana Harbor sediment in a way that:

  • Is safe to human health
  • Improves the environment
  • Is economically beneficial

Accurate and timely information is critical to the effective resolution of the many issues associated with the Indiana Harbor Project. This web site has been established to provide you the information you need to stay informed about this effort and related issues. The site will be updated based on the needs of our site visitors. Please let us know what you need and we will attempt to provide it on the site for you.

Your e-mail comments or questions go directly to the Public Affairs Office and to the project delivery team for a response. E-mail us!

Project Description:

The existing navigation project consists of a harbor channel ranging in depth from 27 to 29 feet LWD and 2 canals with depths of 22 feet. Due to contaminated sediments and lack of a suitable storage area for the sediment, the harbor had not previously been dredged since 1972. An estimated dredging backlog of 1.8 million cubic yards of sediments currently causes pollution of Lake Michigan and affects the efficiency of deep draft commercial navigation. The project provides for constructing a confined dredged material disposal facility (CDF) on an USEPA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) site in East Chicago, Indiana. The project will dredge the entire federal channel to congressionally authorized navigation depths, and will include the removal of sediments in adjacent berthing and docking areas at the local sponsors (non-federal) expense. In addition to providing storage for the dredged materials, the CDF will isolate and contain existing on-site soil and groundwater contamination in compliance with the RCRA requirements. The CDF includes the following features:

  • A slurry cutoff wall
  • Outer clay dikes with interior disposal cells
  • Ground water gradient control system
  • A Cut-off wall barrier at the canal
  • A interim wastewater treatment plant
  • Dredging Off-load Facilities
  • Administration Building

The dredging and CDF operation contract was awarded to a joint venture between Durocher Marine a division of Kokosing Construction Company Inc. and O’Brien & Gere on Sept. 30, 2011. Kokosing Construction Company will perform the dredge work and O’Brien & Gere will operate the CDF which includes site maintenance, operation of the gradient control system, water treatment, and environmental monitoring.

Dredging first began in the fall of 2012 and, on Aug. 5, 2013, dredging was completed for the calendar year. Dredging resumed May 2014 and was completed July 2014. To date, the Contractor has dredged approximately 600,000 cubic yards. The Contractor is scheduled to return to the site in the spring of 2015. 


The existing Federal navigation project at the Indiana Harbor and Canal was authorized by the River and Harbor Acts of 1910 and subsequent Acts of 1913, 1919, 1922, 1925, 1930, 1932, 1935, 1937, 1960 and 1965; Water Resources Development act of 1986 and 1996; Emergency Supplemental Apportions Act dated 12 May 2005.

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Project Manager

Natalie Mills