City contractors have continued dredging biohazardous sediment at the bottom of Chedoke Creek after the city said an environmental monitoring agreement had been reached with local First Nations groups.
The work will now be completed by the end of October, the city said.
It was supposed to be done at the end of last year, but the project faced months of delays due to disagreements with the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI), which had asked to be more involved and consulted on the work that was being done.
The province has ordered a clean-up after 24 billion liters of sewage and rainwater spilled into rivers.
Valves in the city’s combined sewer overflow system were left open between 2014 and 2018, causing layers of biohazard sediment to settle to the river bed.
Chedoke Creek flows into Cootes Paradise and into Hamilton Harbor.
The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks ordered a cleanup and the city hired Milestone Environmental Contracting Inc. to complete the job for less than $6 million.
Why is there a delay and what’s next
The city halted work to prepare for the targeted dredging by the end of August 2022 after HDI requested meaningful consultations and had on-site environmental monitors supervise the work.
HDI said the dredging was carried out on the promised land and the group was acting on behalf of the Council of Chiefs of the Haudenosaunee Confederation, the traditional leaders of the Haudenosaunee people.
In an update communication to council members on Monday, the city said it now has environmental monitoring agreements with the Huron-Wendat Nation, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Six Nations of the Grand River and HDI.
The update says onboarding training for monitors is in progress.
Updates say contractors have begun removing debris from the river between the Desjardins Recreation Trail bridge and the Kay Drage Park bridge.
From there, they would dredge about 100 meters north of the Desjardins Recreation Trail bridge. The city said the Waterfront Trail in the area would remain open but said access points near the Desjardins Recreation Trail bridge would be closed for one or two business days. However, the closing date has not been confirmed.
The city says the work will be completed by the end of October, which is the province-specified deadline they must meet.