Indiana Harbor

Chicago District
Published Jan. 9, 2024
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Chicago Historic Photo

Project Description and Background

Serves as a commercial harbor. Project depth is 29 feet in the approach channel, 28 feet in the turning basin, 27 feet in the outer dock area, and 22 feet within the main and two branch channels.

Approximately 3,085 feet of laid-up stone and concrete caisson breakwater structures. 4.7 miles of federal channel combined within the Indiana Harbor canal, the Grand Calumet River branch, and the Lake George branch.

Routine maintenance of the Federal Channel will maintain the navigable depth at Indiana Harbor and Canal, thereby reducing transportation costs of commodities shipped within the Great Lakes and the Nation. Impacts to navigational economies are estimated at over $23M annually due to light loading with 3 ft of shoaling at Indiana Harbor.

Maintenance Dredging will resume after the completion of the Phase II Dike Raise and dredged material will be placed into the CDF until it reaches its capacity approximately 20-30 years depending on shoaling.

Hardpan material within several reaches of the Federal Channel cannot be removed with conventionally dredging equipment and will need to be removed to fully restore the Federal depth.

Continued operation and maintenance of existing structures, including wildlife exclusion, air monitoring, groundwater gradient control system, and water treatment are required to meet the permit requirements. 

Current Status

Planned work consists of Development of plans and specifications for dredging is underway, with contract award scheduled for fall of 2023.  Dredging will occur upon completion of the CDF dike raise in FY24.

Project Authorization

Rivers and Harbors Acts of 1910, 1919, 1930, 1935, 1937, 1960, Water Resource Development Act of 1986 and 1996, Emergency Supplemental Act of 2005