Rivers and Harbors Acts of 1899, 1902, 1935, 1960, 1962, and 1965. Originally authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, Calumet Harbor is a deep draft commercial harbor.
The harbor is protected by 12,153 linear feet of steel sheet pile and timber crib breakwater structures. The Calumet Harbor and River is comprised of an Approach Channel, an Outer Harbor Channel, an Entrance Channel and a River Channel. Two miles of breakwater protect the Outer Harbor Channel. The Approach and Outer Harbor Channels are mainly in Indiana and span approximately 4.4 miles. The Entrance Channel and River Channel are in Illinois and extend approximately 6.7 miles up the Calumet River to Lake Calumet. There are three turning basins along the River Channel; numbered 1, 3 and 5. Authorized depths are 29 feet below Lake Michigan Low Water Datum (LWD) in the Approach Channel, 28 feet below LWD in the Outer Harbor and 27 feet below LWD in the River. This project is maintained by Chicago District, Corps of Engineers.
The Calumet Harbor and River, Illinois and Indiana Maintenance Dredging and Disposal EIS (USACE 1975 & 1982) assessed the environmental impacts that accompany routine dredging and maintenance efforts in Calumet Harbor and the Calumet River. Naturally occurring dolomitic bedrock outcropping in Calumet Harbor has prevented full maintenance of the shipping channel to the authorized depth, which prevents full use of the navigation channel by deep draft vessels during periods of low lake levels. More conventional alternatives of dredging and disposal were evaluated in prior project documents, but the removal of the bedrock shelf was not considered in either the 1975 or 1982 Environmental Impact Statements (EIS). On August 3, 2016 the Army Corps of Engineers released for public review and comment the Calumet Harbor Bedrock Removal Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The purpose of this Environmental Assessment is to evaluate additional alternatives for bedrock removal to achieve the authorized project depth in the Calumet Outer Harbor. The public review and comment period closed and there were no issues. The Corps moved forwarded with the proposed bedrock removal plan and awarded a contract to Roen Salvage Company on 30 September 2016. Roen Salvage Company completed the work on 16 August 2019. The entire Calumet Harbor is now at authorized depth.
The Corps awarded a dredging contract in Aug of 2019 to Luedtke. The dredging started in May 2020 and will be completed by Aug 2020.