News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Detroit marina excavation enters Phase 2

Marion County has entered the engineering phase of the Detroit Marina Excavation and Resiliency Project, with the final construction phase expected to begin next year.

On Feb. 7 the Board of County Commissioners awarded a contract to Maul Foster & Alongi Inc. (MFA) for engineering and permitting services, with a winning bid of $221,554.

Phase 2 is expected to last up to six months and will leave the project ready to go out to bid for the final excavation phase, which has been projected to begin in 2025.

Once completed, excavation would allow greater marina access when lake levels are low, strengthening the North Santiam Canyon’s tourism-dependent economy. 

The county estimates the project could potentially add $1.2 million in direct and indirect economic activity each year, and add $14.6 million to the region’s economic value over 20 years.

The county has set aside $4.85 million for the project including a $3 million federal ARPA grant, as well as state pandemic relief dollars and lottery funds. As a condition of the ARPA grant the project must be completed by December of 2026.

The goal is to excavate roughly 162,000 cubic yards of sediment from beneath Detroit Lake Marina and Kane’s Marina, allowing water access when levels are as low as 1,525 feet elevation. This is expected to prevent late summer season openings and early closings as have happened during recent dry summers.

The displaced sediment would be used to build a 2,400-foot long peninsula into the lake from the Osprey Point day use area. 

This new feature would include walking trails, fishing locations and access to an existing island.

Alternatives for sediment displacement included an artificial peninsula at Kane’s Marina and an artificial island off Osprey Point. The current option was chosen based on public feedback and a feasibility study conducted during Phase 1.

Phase 1 was awarded to MFA in 2022 for $228,603 and was completed in 2023. It is expected the company will also bid to oversee Phase 3 construction.

The excavation project is part of broader efforts to strengthen the region following the devastation of the 2020 wildfires. Detroit was among the hardest-hit communities and Marion County is leading efforts to improve lake recreation, downtown business development and local trails.

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