Federal authorities report a troubling discovery of over 3,000 illegally dumped tires during the Schuylkill River’s dredging, which serves as a regatta race course for rowing clubs in the Philadelphia area. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in collaboration with their Texas-based contractor Dredgit, initially aimed to clear the river for rowers, completing the first phase last year by removing 28,000 cubic yards of sediment. 

However, during the second phase, which targeted the 2,000-meter National Race Course upriver, workers encountered tires, including large tractor and truck tires, causing a potential delay in the project’s progress. The Army Corps is now reassessing the situation and considering their next steps.

The Schuylkill Navy, an association of amateur rowing clubs, has advocated for the dredging to address the silt buildup, which has been detrimental to the regattas and recreational use of the river. While they welcome the tire removal, they are concerned about the potential impact on the full restoration of the racecourse. Delays and increased costs may jeopardize the project’s completion.