MMSD dredged materials management facility and milwaukee skyline

Dredged Material Management Facility

Project Alert

In December, MMSD received 3 construction bids to build the Dredged Material Management Facility.  The bids, which represent the cost to construct the facility, were lower than expected.  This is favorable for the project and the process for developing and signing a contract has begun.  It is anticipated that the MMSD Commission will approve the construction contract later in January.  The contractor will need to order a significant amount of steel for the project and will begin work once that steel is fabricated and delivered this spring!

Watch the May 2023 update video and the June 2022 virtual walking tour of the Dredged Material Management Facility to learn more.

To build the Dredged Material Management Facility, we first need to relocate a combined sewer overflow outfall. Watch the October 2022 Combined Sewer Overflow Outfall #195 Relocation project video to learn more.

Project Overview

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is partnering with the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), We Energies, and Port Milwaukee to create a new Dredged Material Management Facility (DMMF) in the Milwaukee harbor. When it is completed, this facility will provide safe, secure containment for 1.9 million cubic yards of sediment removed from the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers.

Over time, contaminated sediment has accumulated in the downstream portions of our rivers. The Milwaukee Estuary (the area where Milwaukee’s three rivers converge) was designated an Area of Concern (AOC) by the EPA in 1987 due to historical contamination. Since then, there have been ongoing efforts to clean up Milwaukee’s Estuary.

The existing Confined Disposal Facility located north of the Lake Express ferry dock is nearly at capacity and does not have available space for the sediment that will be removed from the rivers as part of the Milwaukee Estuary AOC Initiative. The new DMMF will provide the needed capacity for storage of this sediment.

The DMMF is a cost-effective approach that manages the contaminated sediment and protects both river and lake health. In addition to reducing the cost to remove and store the sediment, construction of the DMMF at the lakefront bypasses the negative environmental impacts of hauling the material to a new landfill.  If the material was trucked to a landfill instead of to the DMMF, there would be increased truck traffic and the need for landfill expansion. 

Once constructed, the DMMF will be owned and operated by the Port of Milwaukee.

The DMMF project is part of a larger initiative to clean up the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern (AOC). Learn more about the AOC by watching this John Gurda video or visiting the Waterway Restoration Partnership website.

Project Benefits

  • Safe containment for dredged contaminated sediment removed from the river beds
  • Improved fish and wildlife habitat
  • More cost-effective than hauling the material to an approved landfill

Project Timeline*

  • Fall 2021: Final Design Consultant Selected
  • Spring/ Summer 2022: 2nd Public Information Meeting
  • Summer 2023: Project Bidding
  • Late 2023- Early 2024: Project Construction Begins
  • 2026/2027: Construction Completion

​​​​​​​*Timeline is subject to change


Get Involved / Stay Informed

  • Sign up to receive Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern (AOC) MMSD project updates in your inbox.
  • Participate in upcoming events. MMSD will conduct a number of stakeholder and public outreach activities throughout the entirety of the project to obtain project input and feedback.
  • Learn more about the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern (AOC) by visiting and following AOC initiatives on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook).

Comments / Questions

Lake Michigan and the Hoan Bridge

Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern

Learn about the Milwaukee Estuary AOC and MMSD projects.

lincoln park oxbow

Lincoln Park Oxbow and Estabrook Falls 

Learn about MMSD's Lincoln Park Oxbow & Estabrook Falls Milwaukee River Habitat Enhancement project.

burnham canal aerial view in Milwaukee

Burnham Canal Wetland Restoration Project

Learn about MMSD's Burnham Canal Wetland Restoration Project.