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Special Projects

Grove Street Bridge Channel Cleaning

Over the years, wave action had filled in the approaches and the channel underneath the Grove Street bridge making boat use all but impossible. Recognizing the opportunity of heavy equipment being available associated with the Grove Street water, sewer and storm water piping installation, a volunteer effort lead by Paul Nelson, resulted in the channel and approaches to the Grove Street bridge being clear of approximately 90 cubic yards of sand, and other materials.


The task of cleaning out the material from the bridge was easier said than done. First, assuring a permit was available for the dredging needed to be verified and obtained. After checking with environmental consultants Emmons & Olivier Resources, Inc. and the City of Cumberland it was determined that the permit for the Storm water runoff basin construction covered removal of the material from underneath bridge. Next, a means of removing the material from underneath the bridge needed to be found. Thanks to the effort of Tom Schroeder, he located an old “field drag bucket” that Mark Erickson construction has had in the family for ages. After some needed repairs and modifications the “drag bucket” was ready for the task. Tom also supplied cable, chains and pulleys that were used to pull the drag bucket under the bridge. That was the easy part. Now the real work began.


Per the permit requirements, the WDNR was notified that the work was going to be done. First, a slit barrier supplied by the City was placed in the lake on both sides of the bridge to contain the disturbed silt. Then with two men guiding the bucket, one person in a truck with the cable attached providing the pull on the cable and one person calling out orders, the sand and muck was eventually pulled to the north end of the bridge. Once a pile was created, a large backhoe was used to scoop the material from the lake and placed in a dump truck for transporting. After 3 loads were removed, a “hole” had been created, and the crew went back to dragging material out from under the bridge.


After 6 hours of working in 90 degree temperatures, in dirty water at times waist deep, the task was completed. The backhoe was again put to work cleaning out another 4 truck loads from the north approach and 3 from the south side of the bridge.


For future monitoring purposes, once the water cleared, water depth measures were taken. The water depth at the approaches to the bridge were as deep as 5 to 6 feet, with the water depth under the bridge ranging form 2 to 2.5 feet deep. The readings were taken when the lake was at near “normal” level.


Many thanks to the “can do” volunteers who helped make Grove Street bridge again passable for boats; Paul Nelson, Jay Michels, John Ostrem, Mike Benjamin, Keith Hardie, and Tom Schroeder.

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