Dredging planned for Hannibal marina

The Hannibal Parks and Rec Department is moving ahead with plans to dredge the riverfront marina and to get rid of the silt and debris that is causing problems for boaters who use the facility.

The last time the parks department had the Nipper Park Marina dredged was back in the summer of 2011.

At that time, crews managed to remove about 8,500 cubic yards of silt and mud. At that time, the parks department said it was going to be a two part project to clean up the marina and now the plan is to get part two underway later this spring.

"We also have the only public boat ramp in the city of Hannibal and that is the marina, is the boat ramp and a lot of people use the boat ramp. Whether it be everyday boaters, fishermen, commercial fishermen or the fire department or the state water patrol. So we have to keep the marina open for those people as well," executive director Andy Dorian said.

Dorian also said that besides the boaters who use the boat slips in the marina, people use the public gas dock, and the public boat ramp. This time, they expect to take out between five and eight thousand cubic yards and hopefully this dredging will last for a few years.

"There is no funds for that, to do anything at it's current location we did look into doing some things there it's several hundred thousand dollars and you still can't guarantee that you're not going to have to dredge, unfortunately, when you actually have a marina on the river you're going to have to dredge at some point in time," Dorian said.

An engineering firm has been hired and will be responsible for applying for permits, designing specs for the dredging and making sure the post-dredging depth of the marina meets all federal guidelines and rules. Dorian said they want to be able to provide for the boaters of the area, but they also realize they have to take costs into consideration as well.

Dorian continued that once they've completed dredging the marina, the department will watch how long it takes for the silt and mud to begin re-filling the marina.

This will help determine if future dredging will be needed.