United States
Environmental Protection
Cleanup Activities to Begin in the
Lower Rouge River - Old Channel
Lower Rouge River - Old Channel
Great Lakes Legacy Act Project
Detroit, Michigan	Spring 2018
Great Lakes
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
The GLRI is the largest investment
in the Great Lakes in two decades.
Sixteen federal departments or
agencies are working together on
five priorities:
•	Cleaning up toxics and Areas of
•	Combating invasive species
•	Protecting the lakes from
polluted runoff
•	Restoring wetlands and other
ฎ Raising public awareness,
tracking progress, and working
with partners.
GLRI's Legacy Act
The Great Lakes Legacy Act can
provide up to 65 percent of the cost
of sediment cleanup and restoration
work in an Area of Concern. The
rest comes from cities, states, and
businesses. Since 2002, Legacy
Act partnerships have cleaned up
21 sites in 6 Great Lakes states and
remediated about 4.1 million cubic
yards of contaminated sediment.
Completed cleanups have been a
springboard for communities to
build a foundation for future growth
by transforming former toxic hot
spots into attractive locations.
Areas that were obstacles to
economic growth are now valuable
waterfront assets.
Contact EPA
For more information or questions
about the LRROC project, contact
the EPA LRROC Project Managers:
Rose Ellison
Susan Virgiiio
Figure 1. Lower Rouge River - Old Channel.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Great Lakes National
Program Office is working with its non-federal sponsor, Honeywell, Inc.
(Honeywell), to clean up a 0.75-mile stretch of the Lower Rouge River - Old
Channel (LRROC), Detroit, Michigan.
This project will include construction of a permanent bulkhead wall along part
of the Old Channel and removal of 70,000 cubic yards of sediment from the
bottom of the river that is polluted with coal tar and other petroleum products.
The project will also involve removal of large debris like metal, wood, tires,
and cars that have been discarded in the river. The project is expected to begin
this spring and be completed in 2019.
Project Overview
The shoreline and channel slide slopes of the LRROC are steep and unstable in
many areas. To safely remove sediment, Phase I of the project involves the
construction of a permanent sheetpile bulkhead wall along 2,500 feet of the
shoreline. The permanent wall will be kept in place by a smaller anchor wall
buried behind it and connected by steel rods called tie-backs.
Phase II will include the sediment cleanup phase. During Phase II, other places
along the shoreline will need stabilization; in those cases, temporary sheetpile
walls will be used. After dredging these areas, the channel slide slopes will be
reconstructed with clean backfill and the temporary sheetpile will be removed
and reused in another area.

Figure 2. This aerial photo shows the project area and plans for the
Lower Rouge River - Old Channel sediment cleanup.
Figure 2 - Lower Rouge River
OW Channel Cleanup Project
Dredged material barged to
Point Moulllee placement site.
Phase I - Wall Construction Activities
Several things need to happen to make sure
everything is in place before the actual cleanup
begins. The first component will be construction of
the permanent bulkhead wall. This activity includes:
•	Preparing the former Detroit Tar site for wall
construction staging, storage, waste handling, and
site operations
•	Installing soil erosion and sediment controls
•	Monitoring water quality during construction
•	Trenching and debris removal along the shoreline
where the permanent wall will be installed, and
the upland area where the anchor wall and tie-
backs will be installed
•	Installing a 2,500-foot-long permanent wall along
Ferriss Marine and the former Detroit Tar and
Coke sites, with gaps for active utilities and the
Zug Island bridge footings
•	Installing the anchor wall and tie-backs about
70-130 feet from the permanent wall
•	Restoring the areas where the wall is installed.
There will be waste generated during construction of
the wall consisting of contaminated soil, debris, and
water. Water will be treated at the treatment plant on
the Detroit Tar site. The other waste will be handled
onsite and disposed of at a landfill.
Phase II - Sediment Dredging, and
The cleanup phase, Phase II, will involve dredging of
approximately 70,000 cubic yards of sediment from
10 acres within the LRROC. The sediment will be
transported offsite by barge and disposed of at the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pt. Mouillee Confined
Disposal Facility in Monroe, Michigan.
Specially designed barriers (silt curtains) will be
placed in the water around the dredging to limit the
movement of suspended sediment from the site. The
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has
established water quality requirements for the amount
of suspended sediment allowable from the dredging
and water quality will be continuously monitored to
make sure the requirements are met.
After dredging, clay and rock will be placed over
about 1 acre of the bottom of the river to isolate and
cap sediment that cannot be removed safely.
Figure 3. Example of bulkhead and anchor wall.
The dredging will involve installation of temporary
walls for bank support, dredging, transportation and
disposal, water treatment, monitoring, capping, and
restoration. Activities include:
•	Installing soil erosion and sediment controls
•	Preparing the former Detroit Tar site to serve as a
staging area for storage, water treatment, debris
handling, and site operations
•	Building a water treatment area for washwater and
•	Removing and disposing of/recycling debris and
in-water obstacles

•	Treating water
•	Installing temporary sheetpile for river bank
support during dredging
•	Monitoring water quality
•	Installing "silt curtains" to reduce the amount of
suspended sediment from the dredging and protect
a water intake
•	Removing 70,000 cubic yards of polluted
sediment with a sealed clamshell bucket followed
by shipment by barge to Pt. Mouillee in Monroe,
•	Capping the bottom of the river with clay and
rock where sediment cannot be safely removed
•	Replacing key in-water structures
•	Restoring the staging area and other disturbed
Short-Term Local Impacts
During the project, there may be more traffic than
usual in the area for workers, delivery of material, and
disposal of debris.
Installation of the anchor wall for the permanent wall
requires construction at the end of Springwells Court.
During construction, the last 800 feet of the road will
be closed. The rest of Springwells Court will not be
Construction of the anchor wall also requires
temporary closure of the last 50 feet of Medina Street
and the eastern half of Medina Street for another
50 feet. The construction will involve removing
pavement, installing tie-backs, and restoring the road.
A barricade and signs will be posted at the
intersection of Medi na Street and Cary Street
allowing through traffic only for residents and
Permanent bulkhead wall construction is expected to
begin in the spring of 2018 and take approximately
13 months. Dredging and capping is expected to
begin in early 2019, following completion of the
sheetpile wall, and will take about 9 months to
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