Dredging a done deal

ESCANABA – A total of 14,000 cubic yards of sand was pumped out of the Escanaba Harbor in less than a week, according to the harbor master who says the project is expected to wrap up today.

The city hired MCM Marine of Sault Ste. Marie to dredge the harbor to make the waterway deeper and safer for boaters. The crew started dredging early last week and finished Sunday, said Harbor Master Larry Gravatt.

“Because of predominant south winds and the current in the bay, sand gets washed away into the mouth of the harbor,” explained Gravatt.

The sand bar was removed from the harbor, creating a greater water depth for boats, he said.

“It makes it a safer entrance to the marina,” he said. “We also did dredging inside the marina itself.”

The harbor entrance is now about 11 feet deep while areas in the marina are now seven to eight feet deep, he said.

Gravatt said the project went “very, very well” with MCM removing sand 24 hours a day from the harbor. A 16-inch pipe system pumped sand under the water and over land to the municipal beach for beach nourishment, he explained.

The contract included MCM leveling the sand on the beach which was expected to be completed today, said Gravatt. The dredging bid came to $142,620 and was paid for by a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Waterways Grant.

The last time the harbor was dredged was 11 years ago, noted Gravatt.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, jlancour@dailypress.net