The Fox River Cleanup Group selected Tetra Tech as the general contractor of the sediment remediation program for the Lower Fox River in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which is currently one of the world’s largest sediment remediation projects. The contract is for the design, construction, and operation of an approximately $450 million, 10-year project.

Tetra Tech is remediating approximately 7.5 million cubic yards of sediment contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The PCB contamination is the result of historical industrial uses, including pulp and paper production and recycling mills.

The Fox River cleanup will be the largest PCB river remediation project in the world. Effectively removing PCBs from an active river bed poses many technical challenges. We selected Tetra Tech because of their innovative technical approach, their demonstrated ability to address similar world-class environmental challenges, and their ability to work with the project owners to efficiently manage project costs.

Christopher Gower, executive responsible for the Fox River project on behalf of API

Design and agency approval was required for the centralized sediment processing facility at the site of a former bulk fuels terminal, including a sheet pile bulkhead wall that would create four acres of upland, the concept of utilizing three dredges in various parts of the Fox River concurrently, and approval for beneficial reuse of the sand separated from the sediment slurry behind the sheet pile bulkhead. The 30 percent remedial design incorporated a dredge plan based upon using dredge prisms as opposed to the more cost-effective neat line dredging that Tetra Tech would employ.

To ensure the startup date was achieved, the overall remedial design was segmented into annual work plans so that the team could focus on completing the remedial design tasks required to initiate field work. A 1,600-activity schedule prepared in Primavera P3 was completed to create a shared vision for the fast-track design-build project activities.

Our Fox River project achieved more than 1.3 million hours and more than 2,000 days worked without a lost time incident. According to the project manager, "The biggest factor in the success of our safety program was to establish a safety culture that included everyone working on-site and letting them be an active part of the safety program. Every worker bought into our safety culture and will continue using it on other projects. It is rewarding when you hear workers say they really appreciated our commitment to safety."


  • Removed 3.4 million cubic yards of PCB-impacted sediment for a 13-mile reach of the river and placement of nearly 600 acres of capping material to remediate another 4.1 million cubic yards of impacted sediment
  • Established an outstanding business relationship with the unions, with more than 300 construction personnel on-site each day during process building construction in 2008 and 2009
  • Met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s requirement to begin full-scale remediation 14 months after initial contract award
  • Completed remedial design concurrent with performing remedial construction
  • Received approval for each of the 28 major deliverables submitted to the regulatory agencies in the 14-month schedule
  • Initiated an adaptive management and value engineering program geared to generate more than $100 million in project savings in the 10-year implementation period