Dredging dreams

Grand Haven's harbor will get scooped out this month to help support commercial shipping and even recreational boating.
Alex Doty
Apr 9, 2013


Tom O'Bryan, area engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Grand Haven is expected to be dredged between April 20 and May 15.

"We put our budget together with all of our needs included, which includes recreational harbors," he said, noting that only certain harbors are eligible for funding.

In Grand Haven, which is a commercial harbor, O'Bryan said both the inner and outer harbor will be dredged during the project.

According to federal government guidelines, only harbors that ship more than a million tons of product each year, as well as those meeting certain criteria, are getting funding.

"We're under a million tons here in Grand Haven, but we're still getting funding," O'Bryan said. "So is Holland."

O'Bryan noted that factors that gained the funding for Grand Haven and Holland include both having municipal power suppliers — and, in Grand Haven’s case, having a Coast Guard facility.

O'Bryan said Muskegon's harbor will be dredged earlier this month, and Holland will be done after that.

"Muskegon is probably the worst condition we've got," he said.

According to O'Bryan, the Muskegon harbor's authorized depth is 29 feet. It is currently at 23 feet.

"We can't get 1,000-foot (vessels) in there," he said.

With the state recently allocating $20.9 million for harbor maintenance across Michigan, Grand Haven was on the receiving end of good news for its planned $251,000 Harbor Island boat launch dredging project. It is expected to be funded 100 percent by the state, an improvement from a shared-cost project earlier this year.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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