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McHenry to extend Boone Creek dredging to Route 120

City, Fox Waterway Agency completed joint project in July

The Fox Waterway Agency dredges each year in the Fox River and Chain O' Lakes system to remove sediment deep enough for boats to navigate.
The Fox Waterway Agency dredges each year in the Fox River and Chain O' Lakes system to remove sediment deep enough for boats to navigate.

The McHenry City Council has agreed to extend the Boone Creek dredging project from Green Street to Route 120.

The city and Fox Waterway Agency in November entered into an intergovernmental agreement and planned to dredge Boone Creek from the Fox River to the Green Street bridge. That project was completed both ahead of schedule and under budget, said Bill Hobson, the city’s director of parks and recreation.

“It was much smoother than anybody anticipated and a perfect example of how an intergovernmental agreement can and should work,” Hobson said. “Our trucking and disposal costs are at $108,000, and that is half of what we approved at the council.”

The agreement with the Fox Waterway Agency stated that the agency would complete the actual dredging but McHenry would be responsible for getting rid of the dredged material. The city in April voted to spend no more than $216,000 on trucking and disposal of the materials.

McHenry now wants to continue dredging the creek from the bridge to Route 120. Port Barrington-based BruceSki’s Marine Construction bid $92,000 to complete the dredging, which the city recently approved.

McHenry should expect to pay an additional $55,000 to $60,000 on trucking and disposal fees, Hobson said.

“Expanding this navigable channel of Boone Creek presents additional opportunities for redevelopment in this area,” Hobson said. “Both sides of the creek in this area are vacant land in the heart of our resurgent downtown, making them very attractive to redevelop. Removing the sediment will only have positive impacts for the portion of the creek that was just dredged.”

Second Ward Alderman Andy Glab said he was concerned that areas of the creek that aren’t dredged would spill into the freshly dredged areas.

“North of this, there is a large area not getting dredged,” he said. “I am wondering how much fill will move in from that area to the area that we dredge. ... I am not saying we do this right away, but we should have had a study done by now.”

First Ward Alderman Victor Santi also said the proposal could bring economic development to the area.

“Dredging would make it more attractive for the water and recreational vehicles going into that area,” he said. “I want to move forward to be able to have this there, and if at any point in the future there is possibility of doing it upstream, I would like to move that forward.”

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