Dredging to begin on Beale Street Landing

Dredging to begin on Beale Street Landing

(WMC-TV) – A barge and crane are in place to begin dredging the Mississippi River just north of Beale Street Landing.

It seems that the timeline for the project is being pushed back again, as engineers face serious challenges with the Mississippi water levels.

Riverfront Development Corporation President Benny Lendermon says all the ducks are in a row to begin dredging the Mississippi River Monday.

The dredging comes after American Queen customers were forced to dock a mile or so north of Beale Street Landing at Greenbelt Park due to low water levels earlier this month.

The dredging will dig and haul out sediments to give the belly of the American Queen more room to dock.

Lendermon says the dredging was planned before the American Queen docking relocation. He says the river fluctuates 57 feet.

They made the landing a floating dock to handle the flexible water levels.

Meanwhile, a Memphis City Council committee voted on their last Beale Street Landing construction investment Tuesday.

"The good news is there's no more city money involved in this process," said Memphis City Councilman Jim Strickland.

Strickland said the budget for the landing is still $42 million.

The council approved the money request in 2010. Tuesday, the council voted to let the city pay the last $10 million.

"This was the money the city put in the budget almost two years ago to finish the last phase of the project. We finally got to the point where we finished up design, got bids, ready for the contractor to go to work," said Lendermon.

About $9.3 million will go to construction. Another $445,000 will be used for architectural engineering.

The dredging beings Monday and will last one to two weeks.

The landing reception area will open November 1.

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