Durbin, Schneider Announce Nearly One Million in Funding for Waukegan Harbor Dredging

Funding will clean up damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, restore navigation

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Brad Schneider (IL-10) today announced that the Army Corps of Engineers has awarded $990,000 in funding for dredging in Waukegan Harbor to clean up shoaling caused by Hurricane Sandy and allow the Harbor to reopen to navigation.  The funding was awarded as part of the $821 million approved for the Army Corps of Engineers in the supplemental appropriations bill to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy and to rebuild the areas that were impacted. 


“For many years, Waukegan Harbor and the entire Great Lakes navigation system have been threatened due to underfunding which was worsened last year by record low lake levels and damage from Hurricane Sandy,” said Durbin.  “While more work needs to be done, this funding will restore navigation and keep goods moving this shipping season.  It will also help protect the Illinois jobs and economic development that depend on reliable access to the harbor.”


“Waukegan Harbor has been closed to commercial navigation for far too long, and this is an encouraging development in what will be a long-term project to restore the harbor,” Schneider said. “Fostering economic growth and helping create new jobs in the region, this investment will pay great dividends and promote development in the area.”


In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the United States covering 900 miles and impacting 24 states, including the states surrounding the Great Lakes where gale force winds caused damage to breakwaters and silted in harbors and channels.  The storm left Waukegan Harbor with only a 12 foot draft in its approach channel where there should be 22 feet of clearance forcing the closure of the harbor to all commercial traffic.  The harbor’s commercial interests support over 100 jobs and millions of dollars of personal income for the local community.