EPA announces $2.9M project to clean up contaminated sediment in Detroit River

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Posted at 10:06 AM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 10:06:49-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The EPA announced Tuesday a $2.9 million project to clean up contaminated sediment in the Detroit River which will allow the expansion of the city's Riverwalk.

According to the EPA, the contaminated sediment is within the Detroit River Area of Concern identified by the U.S. and Canada as one fo 43 toxic hotspots in the Great Lakes basin.

“EPA is proud to play a role in the transformation of Detroit’s riverfront through a public-private partnership under the GLRI,” said EPA Regional Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager Kurt Thiede. “This sediment cleanup will allow for further expansion of the Detroit Riverwalk, creating recreational space for the city while bringing the Detroit River AOC one step closer to delisting.”

“Throughout my time in office, one of my main priorities has been to fight for a clean and safe environment for my constituents,” said Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14). “Once again, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative proves to be an invaluable resource for improving our Great Lakes, and in this case, providing Detroiters with a new space to enjoy the riverfront free from contaminants.”

The project will remediate about 13,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments along the river, downstream of the MacArthur Bridge leading to Belle Isle.

The EPA will isolate and stabilize the contaminated sediment with a cap of clean material, and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy will cover the sediment cap with a stone rip rap, which will stabilize an aging seawall and provide geophysical support for the riverwalk.

The conservancy will also contribute up to 35% of the project cost, and construction is expected to begin this summer.

“This project is a significant step in realizing our vision of a connected riverfront,” said Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. “Once the sediment cap is in place, we can connect two of our most popular parks on the riverfront and create a direct link to Belle Isle.”