Miami-Dade approves plan to resume Miami River dredging
The Miami-Dade County Commissioners Thursday approved a plan to use non-federal funds for dredging the Miami River, clearing the way to resume dredging operations later this year.
The dredging project is being completed in segments, with six of 15 sections already completed. By using state, country, and city funding already set aside for the 20 percent local contribution for the largely federal project, the dredging contractors will be able to complete sections seven through 10.
County officials hope that project officials will be able to secure the remaining federal funding from Congress during 2007. The $75 million project has had a green light from the Army Corps of Engineers and work started in 2004, but Congress only allocates funding for dredging projects in increments.
Project officials anticipated potential congressional delays, and set up the project over a five-year period to allow flexibility. The work will bring the river depth to 15 feet from bank to bank over a five-mile stretch, allowing larger and fuller vessels to navigate the river.
'The Miami River Commission commends today's action by the Miami Dade County Commissioners to approve the local advanced funding for the Miami River dredging project. The Commission clearly showed how significant this project is to our local economy and natural resources,' Irela Bague, the chair of the Miami River Commission, said after the vote Thursday.