OGDEN -- Massive amounts of debris buried under water and dirt are continuing to be removed through the city's cleanup of a polluted 1.1 mile section of the Ogden River.
So far, more than 2,400 tons of concrete and scrap metal have been collected as part of the $5 million project that began about a year ago and is slated for completion in the fall.
There have also been more than 2,000 tires dragged out of the Ogden River within the project area that extends from a footbridge at Kiesel Avenue to west of Gibson Avenue.
In addition, more than 3,800 cubic yards of litter has been removed from the river and beneath its banks. Debris collected include junked cars, motors, toasters, roofing material, bricks and other items.
"Over the years people put debris there (beneath the bank) and put more debris on top of it," said Justin Anderson, the city's engineer.
Ormond Construction Inc. based in Willard, which is overseeing the project, is trying to recycle as much dirt as possible by separating it from debris, he said. Soil that can't be salvaged, along with junk that's collected, is trucked to a disposal facility in western Weber County.
When the project is finished, 11,000 feet of river bank and 10 acres of additional flood plain will be added to the stretch of river.
About 30,000 native plants will be planted along the bank for beautification and to provide habitat for birds and animals.
Vegetation is also being planted to buffer pollution sources, reduce channel temperatures and provide aquatic food sources.
Interior flood plains are being created, riverbanks are being stabilized and recreation access is being provided, such as the construction of a public viewing area on the south side of the Ogden River off Childs Avenue.
The restoration project is being funded through $2.1 million awarded by the state Water Quality Board from federal stimulus funds. The Central Weber Sewer Improvement District has contributed $825,000 and an additional $800,000 is coming from city stormwater improvement bonds. Weber County and the Habitat Council have each contributed $100,000 and Blue Ribbon Fisheries gave about $50,000.