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Grand River Waterway advisory board says project "stalled by the DNR"

Grand River Waterway Project logo
Grand River Waterway

The Grand River Waterway Project designed to restore navigability from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven has been put on hold.

In 2017, the state of Michigan conducted a survey of the Grand River concluding 22.5 of the 40 mile stretch from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven could be buoyed for motor boat traffic. While nearly 16 miles of the proposed 22.5-mile project will remain natural, there are portions where dredging a 50-foot wide, 7-foot deep waterway are necessary at an estimated cost of just over $2 million.

The project cannot move forward until the Michigan Department of Natural Resources conducts soil sample testing. The Grand River Waterway Project advisory board says the state has approved the funding. It says the DNR was given the green light to test soil back February, but so far, the DNR has been inactive.

Dan Hibma, spokesman for the GRWW, he says “We have always maintained that before any decision is made regarding restoring the river to navigability, all necessary testing should be completed.” Hibma explains GRWW has contacted the DNR. It has not responded to the advisory board.

Until that happens, the Grand River Waterway Project advisory board stated in a news release that it “has decided to put a hold on its advocacy of the project.”

Patrick Center, WGVU News.