Dredging Of Miami River To Be Resumed
Written by Deserae del Campo on June 15, 2006
By Deserae del Campo
The first maintenance dredging of the Miami River is at a standstill, but contractors are expected to return to work within months and remain until the financial well runs dry.
Whether the vast amount of dredging that remains is completed will hinge on getting funding, officials say.
The US Army Corps of Engineers says it plans to restart work between July and September, with $3.5 million allocated. After that runs out, dredging is expected to halt again until at least Oct.1.
The contract split dredging into 15 chunks called acceptance sections. Sections 1 through 6 are done. Work started at Northwest 36th Street, near Miami International Airport, but stopped just west of the Southwest 17th Avenue Bridge at the end of 2005. The Corps’ $80 million contract with Weston Solutions and Bean Environmental calls for dredging to the river’s mouth at Biscayne Bay.
So far the federal government has spent $27.65 million to dredge, the state $5.39 million, the Florida Inland Navigation District $1.23 million, Miami-Dade County $2.56 million and the City of Miami $1.98 million – $38.81 million of the $80 million contract with Weston Solutions and Bean Environmental.
A letter-writing campaign to close the funding gap has been started by area state legislators, county and City of Miami officials, the South Florida Water Management District, Miami River marine industrial business owners, developers, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Miami River Marine Group, the Marine Industrial Association of South Florida, the Marine Council and the Miami River Commission – all "writing to Congress in support of securing $24 million in federal cost share balance due to complete the project," said Irela BaguË, water management district vice chair.