The Stryker Bay project to remove tar and other sediments in the bay has finally come to an end on Tuesday.
It's been five years of intense reconstruction, and nearly 32 years of headache and arguing for MPCA officials, but now the Stryker Bay cleanup project is finally over.
"This is a real celebration of a collaboration among many parties including our responsible parties, government agencies and all the stake holders in Duluth including the residents who are very important. It's just ending construction after 20 years, 20 to 25 years," said Susan Johnson, Project Manager from MN Pollution Control.
By the Bay side, an event celebrating the years of collective efforts to remediate the contamination in the St. Louis River, was held for all involved. Dan Tulsma, Group Environment Manager at XMK Corporation says the event is a great conclusion.
"The event is to celebrate the successful conclusion of a long difficult cleanup project. The results of which are behind you here, involving the removal and capping of hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of contaminated sediment."
The pollution issue was resolved with an idea a decade ago that would be cheaper and bring less harm to the Bay's ecosystem. That idea was to press the waste down under tons of sand and bury it under a fresh layer of river bottom. Johnson is confident the cap will work forever.
"The caps that are in place are very robust and part of the bay was dredged and other areas dredged which means the contamination was removed. Actually on this part right where the party is today, there is a developer looking at this piece of property to build a company and put their business headquarters here."
Many are concerned with the longevity of this fix, a worry that Talsma doesn't have.
"We will be out here every year to be sure that the cleanup is performing the way it's supposed to."
Vegetation has been restored around the buffer zone construction area and hiking trails are expected to be built, which wasn't part of the cleanup plan.
Jordan Weinand, Northlands NewsCenter.