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.
The project consists of a north breakwater (1,120 feet of rubblemound structure); an easterly breakwater (2,524 feet rubblemound structure); an approach channel 800 feet wide at –29.0 ft. Low Water Datum (LWD); an anchorage and maneuver basin at project depth of –28.0 ft. LWD; a harbor entrance 280 feet wide at –27.0 ft. LWD; and a main canal at –22.0 ft. LWD; and a confined disposal facility (CDF) with a storage capacity of 1.9M cubic yards
Contaminated sediment and a lack of a suitable storage place for the sediment lead to the harbor not being dredged from 1972 to 2012. Since 2012, 'over' 1.58 million cy of sediment has been removed from the waterway and confined, greatly reducing the contaminants that had previously been washing into Lake Michigan and improving the efficiency of deep draft commercial navigation.
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.
Over the next year, the entire federal channel will be dredged to Congressionally authorized navigation depths, including the removal of sediments in adjacent berthing and docking areas at the local sponsors (non-federal) expense. The project includes the operation and maintenance of the confined disposal facility (CDF) on an USEPA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) site in East Chicago, Indiana. In addition to providing storage for the dredged sediment, the CDF isolates and contains the existing on-site soil and groundwater contamination in compliance with 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
- An interim wastewater treatment plant
- Dredging off-load facilities
- Administration building
The current dredging and CDF operation is being done by a joint venture between Durocher Marine (a division of Kokosing Construction Company, Inc) and O'Brien & Gere. Their original contract started in 2011 and ended in 2016. A new contract was awarded to Kokosing Construction Company, Inc in September 2016 and will run through Sept. 2021. At the end of 2019, we removed a total of 1.58M cubic yards of sediments from the canal and harbor. The 2020 dredging will start in early July and will end in November of 2020.
Questions can be directed to the Public Affairs Office at (312) 846-5330, email at ChicagoDistrict.PAO@usace.army.mil.