Friday, January 4, 2019

Haxall Canal Maintenance Dredging Project Commences January 5, 2019

The City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will begin dredging the Haxall Canal Saturday, Jan. 15, as part of its maintenance dredging project.

The Haxall Canal, which starts from the head gates near the west end of Brown's Island and extends to the 12th Street level control structure has accumulated large quantities of sediment from the James River and has reached levels that undermine the functionality of the level control structure and head gates, in addition to the aesthetic features the canal provides to the City.

This project will remove these large quantities of sediment that have deposited in the canal, and comes after a survey and assessment completed this summer. The dredging operation will require the canal to be drained it its entirety for approximately four months, with work ending May 1, 2019.

Sediment in the canal before the last dredging
The Haxall Canal was previously drained and dredged of sediment in 2008. The City is expected to perform this required maintenance every 10-15 years. In addition to routine dredging maintenance, the Canal is periodically drawn down to lower levels for routine maintenance most often associated with cleaning trash and debris that undermine the functionality of the head gates and level control structure.

DPU staff have worked closely with Venture Richmond to establish the dates necessary for the current drawdown of the canal and will continue to do so in the future. In addition, Game and Inland Fishery staff have been notified of the canal draining and will be on standby to possibly assist with fish trapped in the canal when drained. Unfortunately this is not a finite process and a small number of fish could be killed, odors from stagnant water may be present, and there will be unpleasant aesthetics as a result of an empty canal bed.

In addition, citizens should expect frequent construction traffic and equipment on a small portion of Brown's Island necessary for staging and access to the canal. Construction traffic will enter Brown's Island from Tredegar Street where vehicular/pedestrian access will be closed to the public throughout the duration of the project. All other pedestrian access points will remain accessible.

For more information regarding this project, please contact Angela Fountain, DPU/DPW Public Information Manager at 804-646-7323 or Howard Glenn, DPU Operations Manager at 804-646-1920.

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