Located in the City of Monroe on the western edge of Lake Erie, the Port of Monroe (Port) provides direct access to all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway, and it serves 17 states. The Port of Monroe Marine Terminal Project is a unique project that will transform Michigan’s gateway port to Lake Erie and the St. Lawrence Seaway into one of the premier cargo handling facilities on the Great Lakes.
This transportation infrastructure improvement project provided for the construction of a new wharf with the capacity to handle larger, deeper draft ships, and also addressed polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination concerns within the River Raisin. The dredging and wharf construction activities were completed with the assistance of Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF), a $3,000,000 investment loan made by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) through the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), and a $602,550 grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The MSF loan funded the excavation of the contaminated sediments, and the design and construction of the new wharf. The MDEQ grant funded the transport and disposal of the contaminated dredged material.
A total of nearly 30,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment was dredged from the bottom of the river to deepen and widen the shipping channel and was transported via barge to the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) confined disposal facility at Pointe Mouillee. The dredging provided 3 feet of additional depth, increasing shipping capacity and improving overall shipping efficiency.
The additional depth and new wharf have enabled the Port to increase cargo volume, diversify cargo material (container and bulk), increase economic activity, and create jobs. The improvements will promote and expand cargo opportunities at the Port and better serve existing Port tenants that are shipping and receiving cargo. The Port selected DLZ to provide survey, civil engineering design, construction contract administration, and construction oversight services for the Marine Terminal Project, the largest capital improvement project at the Port in almost 30 years.
DLZ’s responsibilities also included: preparation and submittal of a joint MDEQ/USACE permit application for dredging the channel and construction of the wharf; coordination with the permitting and funding agencies as necessary; and coordination, communication and project status reporting to the City of Monroe Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and the Monroe Port Commission. Additionally, DLZ coordinated closely with another Port consultant, AKT Peerless Environmental Services, responsible for preparation of the Brownfield Plan and the Act 381 (Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act) Work Plan, and for grant and loan compliance and reporting to MDEQ and MEDC.