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Luedtke at Work on Saginaw Emergency Job

Luedtke’s tug Krista S, pictured here working on the Buffalo Ship Canal
in 2011, is moving the 1,800 cy scows between the dredge and CDF
on the Saginaw River, a round trip of from eight to 10 miles. Photo by
Brian Wroblewski, boatnerd.com

Luedtke’s tug Krista S, pictured here working on the Buffalo Ship Canal in 2011, is moving the 1,800 cy scows between the dredge and CDF on the Saginaw River, a round trip of from eight to 10 miles. Photo by Brian Wroblewski, boatnerd.com

Luedtke Engineering Company began work on the emergency Saginaw River, Michigan dredging project on July 1, the day Notice to Proceed was issued. Dredging is in the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw, and upstream of the Liberty Bridge in Bay City.

The emergency project was instituted when heavy spring rains caused rapid silting of the turning basin, reducing its depth from 20 feet to about 12 feet. The extensive shoaling in the turning basin has greatly restricted shipments of commodities such as cement, coal, limestone, salt, potash and grain. Shoaling upstream of the Liberty Bridge resulted in a vessel grounding on June 25, and will also be addressed by this contract.

Luedtke’s eight cubic-yard clamshell dredge DB 12 is digging into two 1,800 cubic yard scows, which the tug Krista S moves to the Upper Saginaw River Dredged Material Disposal Facility, which straddles the Saginaw County-Bay county line. The Lucille T, a 16-inch hydraulic unloader, empties the scows.

“Distances to the CDF range between four and five miles, depending on where we’re dredging,” Kurt Luedtke, company president, told IDR. Completion date is scheduled for September 14, he said.

The Detroit Engineer District award the $1.5 million contract, which involves about 100,000 cuibc yards of material.

The project is part of a Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC), which the Detroit District established with 10 companies capable of dredging in the Great Lakes. The MATOC is designed to provide greater flexibility and expedite the bid solicitation-award process for dredging in Great Lakes commercial shipping channels and harbors.

The Saginaw River is formed by union of the Tittabawassee and Shiawassee Rivers, 22 miles long, and flows northerly into the extreme inner end of Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron. The maintenance dredging project was authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Acts of June 26, 1910; July 3, 1930; August 26, 1937; June 20, 1938; September 3, 1954; October 23, 1962; and, October 27, 1965.

The authorized channel includes an entrance channel 27 feet deep and 350 feet wide from the 27-foot contour in Saginaw Bay to the river mouth, with the depth decreasing to 26 feet, 22 feet and finally 16.5 feet at the upstream limit at Green Point.

There are five turning basins -- 25 feet deep at Essexville; 22 feet deep about one mile upstream from Cass Avenue in Bay City; 20 feet deep at Carrollton; 20 feet deep upstream of the Sixth Street Bridge in Saginaw; and 15 feet deep between the Bristol Street and New York Central Railway Bridges in Saginaw. There are numerous large commercial docks for handling a variety of cargoes.

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