Final Portage Creek cleanup starts

Jul 31, 2013

The Kalamazoo River near Portage Creek
Credit WMUK

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will start the last round of clean-up work on Portage Creek in Kalamazoo later this week. The EPA plans to remove about 4,000 cubic yards of sediment contaminated by toxic PCBs.

Officials say the Kalamazoo Valley River Trail underpass and a pedestrian bridge near Kalamazoo’s Veterans’ Park will be closed until the end of October while the work is going on. They say parts of the park will be closed to the public and some lanes of westbound Michigan Avenue may also be affected.

The final phase of the $16 million Portage Creek project follows the earlier removal of about 17,000 cubic yards of contaminated material. The PCBs came from paper mill operations. Funding comes from the federal Superfund.

The EPA says the Portage Creek project should be finished by the end of October, well ahead of the original end date in the summer of 2014.