SAINT JOSEPH, Mich. - The St Joseph Harbor could be dredged as early as next week and commercial docks will be open again this season. That’s according to a spokesperson with the Army Corps of Engineers.
Tuesday Congressman Fred Upton announced $100 thousand in emergency federal funding allocated to the Army Corps to dredge St. Joseph Harbor. Wednesday, the Army Corps asked for bids from dredging contractors.
Last week, the harbor was closed to shipping because the water depth was measured at such a shallow depth that boats could no longer access the channel.
It was thought that fixing the problem probably wouldn’t happen this late in the season even if emergency money was granted to the harbor. Weather late in winter is usually not conducive for dredging.
According to the Army Corps, the weather would need to cooperate for only a day or two to make the St. Joseph Harbor accessible.
Trying it this late is still very rare. “Extremely abnormal,” said Tom O’Bryan with the Army Corps of Engineers in Grand Haven. “I’ve been with the corps of engineers for 30 years and the latest i can ever recall dredging is mid-December maybe even late-December but I’ve never been involved in a job that was awarded this late.”