Contractors working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District install a 23-foot-tall concrete shaft enclosure weighing approximately 120,000 pounds as part of the guard wall at the Monongahela River Locks and Dam 4 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, Nov. 16, 2023.

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USACE marks completion of the Indiana Harbor Confined Disposal Facility Dike Raise Construction Project

Chicago District
Published June 17, 2024
Indiana Harbor CDF Dike Raise Completion Project

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Indiana Harbor CDF Dike Raise Completion Project

Rep Frank Mrvan (IN-01) delivers remarks

Indiana Harbor CDF Dike Raise Completion Project

Crowd standing on the completed dike for a group photo.

Indiana Harbor CDF Dike Raise Completion Project

COL Rockwell delivers remarks.

Indiana Harbor CDF Dike Raise Completion Project

Project Manager Mike Nguyen delivers opening remarks about the Dike Raise project.

Indiana Harbor CDF Dike Raise Completion Project

Audience members view posters and talk about the Indiana Harbor Dike Raise.

Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Chicago District, Rep. Frank J. Mrvan (IN-1), and Fernando Trevino, Executive Director of the East Chicago Waterways Management District, marked the completion of the Dike Raise construction project at the Indiana Harbor Confined Disposal Facility.


Congressman Mrvan stated, “Thank you to all the leaders in East Chicago and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the successful completion of this project to enhance the efficiency and operations of the Indiana Harbor. I appreciate that this impactful action will continue to allow all our workers and industry to utilize our essential waterways and thrive in a growing regional economy.”


Indiana Harbor was constructed in the early 1900s and was authorized as a federal harbor in 1910 by the Rivers and Harbors Act. It was built as a new connection to Lake Michigan, changing the flow of the Grand Calumet River. It is currently ranked fifth within the Great Lakes harbor rankings, with a five-year average of 11.58 million tons of cargo (2017-2021). The harbor provides an economic boon of over $20 million annually to the region.


The dike raise contract was awarded in September 2020 and completed in June 2024. This project doubles the current capacity to 4.8 million cubic yards, allowing for maintenance dredging to continue for the next 35-40 years.


“As a side benefit of dredging the contaminated sediments out of Indiana Harbor to ensure that it is able to continue functioning as a critical lynchpin of trade and commerce and economic driver to the area,” said Col. Rockwell, “we are seeing environmental benefits from the removal and safe containment of these contaminants from the river.”


Asked about the safety of the materials now contained in the CDF, USACE Project Manager Mike Nguyen stated, “Safety is our number one priority. Contaminated dredged materials are confined to the CDF, and we ensure that it is covered by approximately 2 feet of water to minimize emissions of both volatile contaminants and particulates (dust) to the environment. The area is constantly under air monitoring, and we have coordinated with local emergency response groups in the area on how to handle emergency situations. We also control oil and monitor turbidity around the dredging area and provide control of suspended solids if the monitoring indicates control is required.”


Dredging for Indiana Harbor is set to resume after Labor Day this year in September. A public meeting is scheduled for July 20, 2024, at 6 p.m., after the monthly ECWMD Board meeting.

Chick Lock

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