Background

Construction of a new four-lane traffic bridge over Sturgeon Bay (the waterway link between Green Bay and Lake Michigan) was contingent upon enlarging an existing federally authorized shipping channel.  This shipping channel needed to accommodate the passage of 1,000-foot freighters through the Great Lakes. The shipping channel bottom consisted of both soft sediment and hard native clay, which require different and precise dredging technologies.

Approach

Foth prepared dredging designs and specifications, secured permits and provided construction oversight to enable the restoration of the channel. We coordinated with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Coast Guard and the Lake Carriers’ Association to develop a flexible permit application that allowed dredged materials to be disposed of at multiple sites.

Results

Foth successfully completed the project ahead of schedule, which allowed the WisDOT to proceed with the bridge construction over Sturgeon Bay and improve local and seasonal traffic flow. The project removed more than 200,000 cubic yards of sediment during a four-month window, and barge transport of dredge material eliminated truck traffic and wear and tear on city streets. Pre-design characterization and tightly written contract provisions resulted in an actual dredge volume that fell within 3% of Foth’s estimate.