PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The silt build-up that is threatening rowing on the Schuylkill River will be dredged out. That’s a promise from Congressman Bob Brady, who is working on getting the project in the Army Corps of Engineers budget.
Brady, whose niece rows for Drexel, says he was already aware that sediment build-up was hampering rowing.
“The kids and the men and the women that have to row out there, they have to walk knee-deep in silt,” the congressman said.
But dredging the upper Schuykill — from the Philadelphia Art Museum dam to East Falls — is not only expensive at $3-million — it’s technically tricky.
“They’ve got to get a small dredge up there. They can’t get it up the big river because of the dam,” Brady explained. “So they only have one or two in the whole country, and we have to get that freed up to get it done and we’ll get it done..”
Brady knows because he got funding the last time the river was dredged in 2000, but the budget process has changed since then — so while The Army Corps has authorized dredging, it hasn’t had the money in its budget to do it, and was not encouraging about getting it funded next year either.
Brady says he’s gotten his old House colleague, acting Army secretary Patrick Murphy, involved and he expects a turnaround.
“We can get $3-million to dredge that river and we will get it,” he said. “We’re going to get the money. We’ll get that dredged.”