The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District has awarded a $6.5 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company for the construction of a dredged material placement area designed to handle about 400,000 cubic yards of dredged material.

Work is expected to immediately start construction of 1,500-linear feet of stone off the west and south portions of the Ashtabula Harbor East Breakwater. The project is expected to take 12-14 weeks after stone placement begins.

This project is being conducted in close coordination with the Ashtabula City Port Authority, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“This $6.5 million award for the beneficial use of dredged material project at Ashtabula is great news for Lake Erie and Northeast Ohio.” said U.S. Senator Rob Portman in a prepared statement. “As co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, working to protect our Great Lakes is a top priority for me. I am pleased to see this partnership.”

U.S. Congressman Dave Joyce said this is great news for Lake Erie’s ecosystem and the regional economy.

“By creating a long-term solution to dredged material management, this project will not only help restore and create natural habitat for aquatic life, but also support jobs and improve the quality of life for Ashtabula residents,” Joyce said. “I applaud the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Ashtabula and its port, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for their strong partnership on this project.”

Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson said this dredge material repurposed-for-wetlands project is a win-win for Ashtabula and entire state.

“We are grateful to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for keeping the project on schedule,” she said.

Eddy Eckart, consultant for the Ashtabula City Port Authority, said the Port Authority is excited that the harbor’s 204 Project has entered its next phase.

“We look forward to the Corps’ progress as 2021 unfolds,” he said. “The project is moving ahead on schedule and we’re proud that it is leading the way for innovative reuse of dredge material.”

Ashtabula City Manager Jim Timonere said, “Eddy Eckart worked extensively on this project for our City Port Authority and I am thankful to him and the board members for their persistence to create a reuse for this dredge material. This is a very important project which will make sure our deep water port will remain a valuable asset to not only the city but our entire community.”

The beneficial use of dredged material project at Ashtabula is being conducted under the Corps of Engineers Continuing Authority Program Section 204 authority and is cost shared 65 percent federal and 35 percent non-federal. When the decade-long project is completed, it will create about 16.5 acres of pristine wetland habitat.

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