Canal feared closed for the season


Port Huron City Officials suspect damage to the Black River Canal’s Tainter Gate will cause the waterway to be closed to boaters for the season. In a statement released Friday, City Manager, James Freed says the State has been slow to respond to permit requests, and even after permits are granted, the full extent of work needed to be done is still largely unknown. During Monday’s City Council meeting, Freed laid out plans both short and long term that include installing a cofferdam with sheet piles on either side to prevent the canal from eroding further.

“In the best case scenario, we get the cofferdams put in which takes a month, two months,” said Freed Monday. “Once we remove the gate, we don’t know if it’s salvageable, we don’t know if it can be repaired yet. If not we have to fabricate a new one, and that will take some lead time. Our goal is to make sure it’s done and ready for next season.” Freed, along with local engineers, and representatives from EGLE are expected to meet today to discuss obtaining emergency permits to begin work on the proposed cofferdam.