Dredging Needed at Bender Park — Again
Just a year after a dredging project shut down the Bender Park boat launch, problems have again cropped up for boaters accessing Lake Michigan.
Oak Creek's Bender Park is only a year removed from a dredging project that cost Milwaukee County roughly $280,000.
But what was supposed to be at least a five-year fix didn't come close.
Thanks in part to a mild winter, the sediment that was removed has piled back up to the point that more dredging is needed for boaters to launch at Bender Park, County Supervisor Steve Taylor said.
The launch hasn't yet shut down, but it's become difficult for boaters to access Lake Michigan, with some areas near the launch only 18 to 24 inches deep, Taylor said.
County officials are studying their options and have sent soil samples to the Department of Natural Resources for its review.
Taylor doesn't expect any easy solutions. A long-term, permanent fix, with a price tag of $5 million, appears unlikely.
"Unfortunately that's not do-able in these economic times," Taylor said.
Last year, the Bender Park boat launch was shut down for about two months while a contractor removed sediment and opened up a 45-foot wide channel.
The launch is a popular place for boaters to access Lake Michigan. Oak Creek Alderman Mike Toman said it's used year-round, with many boaters coming from miles away.