Environmental cleanup to remove sediment, debris in Lower Rouge River will begin soon

Published Oct. 11, 2018

DETROIT – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USACE, Detroit District, in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, 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 $16 million to dredge and cap portions of the Lower Rouge River Old Channel, LRROC, in southwest Detroit, Michigan. LRROC is a highly industrialized 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.

“This is a major milestone for the cleanup of the Rouge River and yet another example of the continuing progress being made under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The contaminated sediments being removed represent the legacy of over a century of waste discharge to the river.” Christopher Korleski, Director, Great Lakes National Program Office, EPA.

Since 2010, EPA has been working under a Great Lakes Legacy Act partnership with non-federal sponsor, Honeywell, Inc., to investigate, design, and clean up a 0.75-mile 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 stabilize the shoreline during dredging, removal of approximately 70,000 cubic yards of toxic sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from 10 acres 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.

EPA administers the GLRI, while USACE is one of 16 participating federal agencies in GLRI to protect and restore the Great Lakes. GLRI has already made major strides in cleaning up contaminated sediments from Great Lakes Areas of Concern, as well as in preventing the spread of invasive species, and in restoring fish and wildlife habitat throughout the Great Lakes’ watershed. For more details, please contact Lynn Rose, director of public affairs, 313-226-4680.

For more GLRI information: https://www.glri.us/ 


Lynn Rose
313-300-0662 (cell)

Release no. 18-050