AuGres River set to be dredged

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AUGRES — Lovers of water sports on the AuGres River, can breathe a deep sigh of relief as the AuGres river is set to gain some depth.

With parts of the river as low as less than 3 feet, the Faust Corporation of Saint Clair Shores will deepen the river to an average of 6-feet depth, from the US-23 Bridge to the mouth of the river where it enters the Saginaw Bay.

The project will start July 1, and it is expected to the end around October 1, 2010.

“We want to make sure we’re community minded,” said Faust Corporation Vice President Marcus Faust about completing the project that was awarded to his company by the Army Core of Engineers Detroit District. “It’s going to stay within the $650- to $700,000 range.”

With the company using big equipment, including a barge with a excavator on it, Faust said that it will take up a lot of the river, even though it will still be open to water enthusiasts.

“The equipment is already there. There’s an excavator on a spud barge, Faust said.

Faust estimates the equipment will be in use by a crew of 5-7 people six days a week during daylight hours, possibly seven days a week.

“We’re going to take up a lot of the river. We appreciate any cooperation we get,” Faust said.

With all of that large equipment on the water, Faust wants to make sure that all boaters keep safe by staying as far away from the equipment as possible.

“Anytime there is large equipment, people are going to have to be cautious when they’re going around it. From a safety standpoint, they should stay back as far away as possible,” he said. “It’s very difficult for us to move. We’re trying to do this as safely as possible and as quietly as possible.”

As the river is dredged, the corporation will empty the dredged materials into large trucks that will then take the materials to a city disposal site located on South Street, just West of the city’s department of public works garage.

The dredged materials will be left at the location in an empty field that is approved by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

It is the same location used in past dredging projects.

The dredged soil could be used as topsoil if the city needs it in the future.

AuGres City Manager Pat Killingbeck said that the city is relieved to have this project proceed.

“I certainly do think it will help much of Arenac County. If the river isn’t deep enough, it hampers our boating operations,” she said Monday. “We have a lot of boating activities. It is vital to have safe harbors and boating accessibility to such a wonderful natural resource as the Great Lakes.”

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