The discovery of thousands of illegally dumped tires is threatening to further delay the dredging of a Philadelphia-area river used by rowing clubs as a regatta race course, according to federal authorities.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that more than 3,000 tires have been hauled out of the Schuylkill River during the second phase of the project aimed at clearing the river of muck for rowers, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The Army Corps’ Texas-based contractor, Dredgit, completed the first phase in front of the river’s iconic boathouses a year ago, removing 28,000 cubic yards of sediment. But in July’s second phase to dredge the 2,000-meter National Race Course upriver, workers almost immediately began pulling tires out of the river, including large tractor and truck tires.
Army Corps spokesperson Steve Rochette told the newspaper in an email that workers weren’t sure whether this was an isolated event, but “it has continued throughout multiple areas along the Race Course and has prevented dredging operations to continue as originally planned.” The Army Corps has “not finalized our path forward at this time,” he said.