FFI and its Great Lakes Council help restore railroad embankment along the Pere Marquette River.
The restoration of the eroding railroad right of way bank will prevent the possible derailment of the Genesee and Wyoming freight train which carries caustic chemicals on a daily basis across the mainstream of the Pere Marquette River.
The Pere Marquette River is a designated Blue Ribbon Trout Stream that flows through the Manistee National Forest in Newaygo, Lake and Mason Counties. It is also a designated Wild and Scenic River according to the US Forest Service. As such, this rare and valuable resource warrants protection and restoration. Like most rivers in Michigan, interactions between the river and infrastructure pose resource management challenges. In this case, the Pere Marquette’s natural channel movement has encroached on a railroad embankment owned by Marquette Rail – Genesee & Wyoming. This interface has exposed highly erodible sediments on the railroad embankment and presented a slope stability concern. The goals of this project are to stabilize the slope of the railroad embankment, minimize sediment loading to the river, and maintain or enhance fish habitat within the project site.
The partners in this project have selected a restoration option that fills in the toe of the embankment where the embankment has eroded and armors the toe of the embankment with large riprap and plantings. Riprap and plantings will be extended upstream and downstream of the site to prevent future erosion. To compensate for filling on the outside bend, the channel will be excavated on the inside bend, effectively shifting the channel away from the failing embankment. The preliminary engineering study with graphics is attached for review. Also, a picture of the eroding bank is included. The following groups have been involved in development of this project: Pere Marquette Watershed Council, Conservation Resource Alliance, Great Lakes Council of FFI, PM Trout Unlimited, and the United States Forest Service.
FFI and its Great Lakes Council are providing $4,000 in funding for the project.