US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District

Civil Works Public Notices

Illinois Waterway Dredged Material Management Plan with Integrated Environmental Assessment for River Miles 240.3-242.7 (Bull's Island) of the Illinois River, Starved Rock Pool

Published March 7, 2019

PUBLIC COMMENT REQUEST

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District (District) is requesting public review of the proposed Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) and integrated Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Bull’s Island and Milliken Island Dredge Cuts (Reach). A draft copy of the report and its appendicies can be found at: https://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/Dredging.aspx.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District (District), is currently proposing the long-term placements of dredged material for the Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) and integrated Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Bull’s Island and Milliken Island Dredge Cuts (Reach). This Reach extends along the Illinois Waterway within the navigation channel between river miles 240.3 and 242.7, near Ottawa in LaSalle County, Illinois.

In September 1999, the District completed the Dredged Material Management Plan for Bull’s Island Dredge Cut, Illinois Waterway River Miles 240.3- 241.6.  Material dredged from the Illinois River has nearly filled the existing Bull’s Island placement on the right descending bank. The average annual dredging quantity over the past 20 years for the Reach is approximately 14,600 cubic yards per year.  The existing site is nearing capacity and will not accommodate the estimated dredging needs in a 20-year plan (292,000 cubic yards).  This DMMP report evaluates additional suitable placement alternatives for both mechanical and hydraulic dredging methods at the Reach.

The No Action Alternative and multiple sites were evaluated using numerous factors including cost effectiveness, environmental acceptability and operational feasibility. Only one alternative met these criteria, and therefore has been selected as the Tentatively Selected Plan. This Plan consists of expanding the existing placement site outside of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established floodway and includes both hydraulic and mechanical dredging and placement options. The total cost estimate is approximately $1.3 million, including construction, maintenance, and acquisition costs.

To request a paper copy or CD, contact Mr. Kjetil Henderson of our Regional Planning and Environmental Division North, 309/794-5709, email: CEMVR_Planning@usace.army.mil, or by writing to our address:

US Army Engineer District, Rock Island
Corps of Engineers, ATTN: Kjetil Henderson
Clock Tower Building – PO Box 2004
Rock Island, IL 61204-2004

Please furnish your comments no later than April 9, 2019, to Mr. Henderson of our Regional Planning and Environmental Division North, 309/794-5709, email: CEMVR_Planning@usace.army.mil, or by writing to our address above.

PROJECT INFORMATION

The District is interested in your review and comments regarding the alternative analysis for this project. The District may also use your comments to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

The first step in the alternative planning process is to identify sites for screening. Sites are either kept, or eliminated from further consideration during a preliminary screening based on capacity, natural resources, cultural resources, hydraulic impacts, operability, and socio-economic impacts. The next step is to formulate and evaluate combinations of remaining placement sites to determine Project Alternatives. Three Alternatives were identified based on the site options remaining after step one screening.

DECISION

Due to location and capacity needs, Alternative C (Sites 3 and 4) is the TSP. This area consists of dredged material placement of approximately 23 acres. The site also includes a 100-foot residential buffer and a 50-foot sewer line buffer to allow for ease of access for City staff. Following full consideration of all DMMP planning, policies, and procedures, any or all of this 23 acres area may be considered as proposed for dredged material placement. With all easements and buffers included into the site layout, the dredged material would need to be placed to a height of approximately 16 feet above existing ground level to hold all 20 years of dredging without any beneficial use. A planning level “present worth cost analysis” was prepared for the Bull’s Island Reach DMMP, which included lands and damages, dredging, planning engineering, design and construction management.

PROPOSED AND ALTERATIVE ACTIONS

The Bull’s Island DMMP addresses estimated dredged material placement needs for at least the next 20 years. Dredging is required to provide a safe and adequate channel for river navigation. Potential placement sites were thoroughly investigated and evaluated through the DMMP process. The TSP provides the greatest flexibility in placement locations without increasing placement costs and safeguards against the possibility of increased dredging volumes over the 20-year life of the DMMP. No significant adverse impacts are anticipated to result from implementation of the TSP.