U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, and City of Wabasha, Minnesota, leadership met on April 19 to discuss the dredged material management plan for Lower Pool 4.
The Corps is working in partnership with the city to find a suitable, permanent location for nearly 270,000 cubic yards of material dredged annually from an area within the Mississippi River south of Lake Pepin to Wabasha. The group is looking specifically for alternatives from the use of the Southside Fitzgerald site or nearby agricultural lands as options.
The new planning effort explores options such as partnering with the city under a program known as Section 217(d). This program was developed with the passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996. Under this program, the city would become an active partner in the removal and permanent placement of dredged material.
Corps officials are also pursuing options and requirements to acquire real estate from willing sellers between Wabasha and Winona, Minnesota. With the amount of material generated by this section of the Mississippi River, a permanent upland placement site will still need to be identified.
“We’ve worked extremely hard with the City of Wabasha to develop a plan that supports the city’s future planning efforts and our need to maintain the Mississippi River navigation requirements,” said Bob Edstrom, project manager. “We are very optimistic that the new plan will be a win-win for the community and the Corps of Engineers. It will just take a little longer to ensure it’s the right plan for everyone involved.”