Mosquito Island closed during construction

WINONA, MN (WKBT) - A part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge will be closed for erosion rehab.

The small island locally known as “Mosquito Island” will be closed until October 13, 2017. The island, which is part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, is located adjacent to the main navigation channel between Winona and Homer, MN.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Maintenance and Repair Branch based in Fountain City will be rehabbing the upstream portion of the island to replace the area that has been lost to erosion.

USACE will use approximately 60,000 cubic yards of sand dredged from the main channel to build a new island base. The new construction will tie-into the upstream end of the existing island and continue upstream for approximately 900 feet. Once the base is constructed, approximately 3,300 cubic yards of soil will be dredged from an adjacent backwater. This dredging will create about one acre of fish habitat and provide enough material to cover the new island with about 12 inches of topsoil.

The new island section will be protected with rip-rap at the upstream end and rock vanes along the sides to discourage future erosion. The top will be planted with a cover crop to hold it in place through the winter. During the spring of 2018, trees will be planted on the island to provide wildlife habitat. The project will also place sand on the existing beaches to enrich them for public use.

The project construction will be funded by the USACE with an estimated cost of $600,000.

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