Enbridge retrieves rod from Straits of Mackinac lakebed

December 30, 2019

Enbridge has successfully retrieved from the bottom of Straits of Mackinac the 45-foot steel rod that had been used in our recent geotechnical work for the Great Lakes Tunnel Project. The retrieval operation was completed Saturday night. 

After continuing to evaluate available options to retrieve the rod, Enbridge deployed a specialized underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV) from a work barge to retrieve the rod from the lakebed. The project team worked over the past two weeks to prepare the ROV for retrieval operations. State officials with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) were consulted before the ROV was deployed. In November, Enbridge notified EGLE of the issue with the rod on the lakebed.

Favorable weather conditions at the Straits in recent weeks prevented the water from icing over, providing Enbridge a window of opportunity to complete this work.

The rod had moved from its original position near the pipeline and was found resting on the west leg of the pipeline. The rod never posed any safety or environmental risk to Line 5, the water, nor ship traffic in the Straits.