Newt Marine Awarded $6.9 Million Option On Upper Mississippi Habitat Contract

The St. Paul Engineer District has awarded the second part of the McGregor Lake Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project to Dubuque Barge & Fleeting Service Company, doing business as Newt Marine Service of Dubuque, Iowa. The $6.9 million option award will go toward the stage 2 construction contract in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge located near Prairie du Chien, Wis.

The stage 1 contract was awarded in September 2020, and work is ongoing. The stage 2 base construction contract was awarded to Newt in September (WJ, October 3); this next stage of the project will raise the elevation of the northernmost floodplain forest features above McGregor Lake, along with additional improvements to backwater fisheries by means of habitat dredging areas north of the Highway 18 bridge. Completion of stage 2 construction is scheduled for 2025.

The completed project will restore eroding peninsulas around McGregor Lake, deepen backwater habitat for overwintering fish and enhance floodplain forest habitat. The forests in the Mississippi River corridor provide critical habitat for migrating songbirds, nesting bald eagles, herons, kingfishers and other birds.  

The project is planned in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Iowa and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and the local communities.

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This project is funded under the authority of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program. The 30-year program is intended to ensure the coordinated development and enhancement of the Upper Mississippi River system with primary emphasis on habitat restoration projects and resource monitoring. The rehabilitation program has fostered more than 55 habitat projects benefiting approximately 100,000 acres on the Upper Mississippi River.