Dredging/Infrastructure Report

Paducah To Begin Dredging Near New Transient Boat Dock

The City of Paducah (Ky.) expects to begin dredging later this summer near its transient boat dock after receiving a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant.

“Due to the flooding that the Ohio River experienced during 2018, 2019 and 2020, the sedimentation greatly increased just downstream of the transient boat dock,” city spokeswoman Pam Spencer said. “For example, for 300 straight days in 2019, the Ohio River at Paducah was near or above flood stage.”

The estimated cost to permit, engineer and remove a portion of the sedimentation is expected to be about $5.5 million, with the city to pay 12 percent and the state of Kentucky to pay 13 percent, Spencer said.

FEMA will reimburse the city for its expenditures but does not provide the money up front.

“The goal is to make the sedimentation manageable,” Spencer said. “There will be routine maintenance and periodic dredging required.  The city has budgeted approximately $400,000 for the project for the FY21 fiscal year.”

City Engineer Rick Murphy has stressed that the dredging will not completely remove the build-up of sedimentation by the boat dock.

“We’re always going to have that little island,” Murphy said. “It’s not our intent to remove all that material. That’s not our intention because that would be very expensive to do.”

The dredging is not expected to affect river traffic.

HDR Engineering Inc. is the contractor on the project. It is currently in the midst of permitting and preparing design documents before dredging can begin.

Transient Dock

The city of Paducah installed the 340-foot transient dock in September 2017, adjacent to Schultz Park along the riverfront. Work is currently under way to connect the dock and riverfront area from Jefferson Street to existing segments of the city’s Clyde F. Boyles Greenway Trail, a 5-mile trail for hikers and bikers that connects city parks and residential neighborhoods, traveling mostly along the top of the city’s earthen flood protection levee.

The fifth phase of the greenway trail construction project, including improvements to the park around the transient dock, was approved April 14 at the city’s board of commissioners meeting. Construction is expected to cost $479,350, funded in part by a $432,500 Kentucky Transportation Cabinet grant. The transient dock and surrounding area closed May 11 to allow completion of the work, which is expected to wrap up this fall.

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