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Dakota Island Sand Offloading Operation Scheduled to Resume

Sandberm512x219 An example of a sand berm.  Dakota Island is managed as part of the Refuge. When the offloading of the sand is complete a sand berm will be constructed across the ponding area to comply with the Refuge's Beach Management and Maintenance policy.

Ames Construction, Inc., general contractor on the I-90/Dresbach Bridge and Approach Roadway Interchange Project, is scheduled to resume offloading the large stockpile of sand on Dakota Island this week.

An eight-acre site on Dakota Island, located in Navigation Pool 7 near River Mile 706.5, was designated a dredged material placement site in the 1980s. Sand from periodic channel maintenance dredging activities has been temporarily stored in this designated site, which is at capacity. The need for sand in the bridge project provides an opportunity to empty the placement site and use the sand for a beneficial purpose.

The sand meets the specifications required for the bridge construction project.

Last fall, about 90,000 cubic yards of sand were loaded and barged to the worksite before the operation was suspended due to the onset of winter. An estimated 160,000 cubic yards remain to be offloaded this summer.

With the later than expected start this spring due to recent high river levels, the operation is expected to continue through summer and be completed in late September.

The construction site on the island has been temporarily closed to public access to protect the safety of visitors. Signs have been placed along the shoreline alerting visitors to the closure.

Ames Construction’s plan of operation is to load and transport barges in late afternoon, five days per week, Monday through Friday. Unloading operations will generally occur at night utilizing the same weekly schedule.

Dakota Island was acquired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is managed as part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. To comply with the Refuge’s Beach Management and Maintenance Policy, a sand berm will be constructed across the ponding area after the offloading operation has been completed.

The designated dredged material placement site will continue to be used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for storing sand dredged from the main channel during future channel maintenance projects.

For more information, contact the La Crosse District Office at 608/779-2385, or visit the Visit Center, located at N5727 County Road Z. Onalaska, Wisc.
Last Updated: Jun 04, 2014
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