The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District will begin hydraulically dredging the federal navigation channel and nourishing the South Haven Harbor shoreline next week.
In coordination with the City of South Haven, the Corps of Engineers will dredge 57,300 cubic yards of material from the Black River Federal Channel. The tested-safe material will then be placed on South Haven’s public South Beach from the South Pier and extending 1,900 feet southward for beach nourishment.
Beach nourishment returns sediment trapped between breakwaters to the natural shoreline drifting process. Beach nourishment also helps slow erosion occurring in the area of depletion. This beach nourishment is designed to reduce the risk of flood damage from Lake Michigan to the South Haven Water Filtration Facility.
“This project has been in the works for some time. It is the first community directed funding project that the Detroit District has received in some time, so there was lots of excitement to do this one right,” said Capt. Samuel Briscoe, the Detroit District project manager. “The project will give the city more time to develop a permanent flood control plan so the water plant can remain safe and operational for the foreseeable future.”
Congress specifically named the project into law and funded its contract after residents requested support for the project.
Historic high-water levels early in 2019 threatened contamination to still wells used for drinking water outside the filtration facility in South Haven. Placing dredged material along the city’s public beach will provide temporary protection and reduce the risk of flooding.
A similar project placed about 18,000 cubic yards of dredged material at the South Haven public beach in August 2022.
The $542,700 contract for 2023 dredging and beach nourishment was awarded Jan. 10 to The King Company, based in Holland, Michigan. The work is tentatively scheduled to be concluded July 10, weather dependent.
“This dredging is a very cost-effective temporary protection for the water storage facilities and gives the community the added benefit of dredging the harbor. The team is looking forward to completing this work for the South Haven community,” said Elizabeth Newell Wilkinson, Grand Haven resident engineer.
The project will begin immediately following The King Company’s dredging work currently taking place in St. Joseph, Michigan.
The public is urged to avoid the dredging and placement areas until the work is complete. Fencing and signs will be placed along the work area to caution the community.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, maintains a navigation system of 81 harbors and channels joining lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie.
The Detroit District provides vital public engineering services in peace and war to secure our Nation, protect the environment, energize our economy and reduce risks from natural disasters.
For more details, contact Detroit District Public Affairs Specialist Brandon Hubbard, (313) 500-3251.