The bungling around the spread of Asian carp just goes on. The latest folly? A $4,546,422, 13-mile construction job to put concrete and wire mesh barriers between the Sanitary and Ship Canal and the Des Plaines River/I&M Canal.
Here's how stupid this is.
I received a tip when the project was being prepared for bidding. I double-checked and even the tipster agreed the idea was too bizarre to be likely.
A 13-mile barrier from Romeoville to Willow Springs?
But a couple days later, it was official.
I just get angrier about the handling of the spread of Asian carp the longer the issue drags on.
When the electric barrier was being planned, years ago, wild-haired citizen engineer Eddie Landmichl, immediately pointed that the barrier would be bypassed by flooding on the Des Plaines.
The Des Plaines regularly has major floods in recent years because of the upstream development.
And now we're being saddled with another $4 million project, because Landmichl's warnings were ignored, on top the millions already poured into the greatest boondoggle in the history of Chicago outdoors.
I can't take much more.
Asian carp bypass mitigation measures move to construction
CHICAGO -The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it has awarded a contract to Old Veteran Construction, Inc. in the amount of $4,546,422 to begin construction of interim risk reduction measures along the Des Plaines River and I&M canal. An interim efficacy study completed by the Corps of Engineers concluded that these two waterways which run parallel to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal can provide an opportunity for Asian carp to be swept into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal above the electric barrier in the event of heavy flooding events.
The measures being constructed along the Des Plaines River will consist of concrete barriers and a specially fabricated wire mesh that allows water to flow through but prevents the passage of fish. The barricade will be about 13 miles long, reaching from approximately from Romeoville, Ill. to Willow Springs, Ill. To deter Asian carp from bypassing the barrier via the I&M Canal, the contractor will build a stone barrier at the flow divide. Construction is expected to begin Summer 2010 and be completed by Fall 2010.
"Construction of these measures is crucial to reducing the risk of Asian carp bypassing the barriers," said Colonel Vincent Quarles, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District. "The electric barriers focus on the largest, most direct, pathway. Now we will be constructing measures to address intrusion via those flanking waterways."
Funds for the project were provided as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Additional information about the project is available on the Chicago District website at www.lrc.usace.army.mil.