Washington Island Dredging

Despite the recent denial of an application from the Town of Washington(Washington Island) for Wisconsin Department of Transportation funding to pay for a dredging project at Detroit Harbor, there is optimism that a way can be found to fund the needed project. According to the Washington Island Ferry Line’s Ferry Cabin News, a case has been made for the project & state officials believe it is worthwhile, now it comes down to finding the right funding sources or combinations that will move the project forward. State & federal officials met with representatives of the town & other interested parties on the island on June 22nd. It was noted that the $7.6 million cost of the dredging project exceeded the money available & five other projects were also seeking DOT funds. The consensus was that in order to be accepted, the project would have to be scaled back, made less expensive or paid for over two funding cycles. The major concern is that dropping water levels will reach a point where navigation is suspended or curtailed, creating a major emergency for the island. In the meantime, as an interested party, the ferry line has contracted with Foth Environmental to provide finer project details. The last time Detroit Harbor was dredged was in 1937.

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