GREAT LAKES DREDGE AND DOCK CO. was established when the use of larger ships on the Great Lakes created a need for deeper channels and sturdier docks. Founded in 1890 by William A. Lydon, the company has grown since then and expanded its operations to Central and South America, as well as the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean Islands. In addition to dredging and dock construction, Great Lakes has also fabricated and laid pipelines, installed piers for bridges, built up breakwaters, and added sand to eroding beaches. In 1914-15 the firm participated in the construction of piers and abutments for the Detroit-Superior and Clark Ave. bridges.
In the 50-year period 1920-70, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock worked on the McArthur Lock at Sault Ste. Marie and built the southwest pier at that location to protect the Power Canal from out-of-control freighters. It also participated in construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Dredging the Cuyahoga River was an annual task, and among other projects managed by the Cleveland office during these years was revamping the breakwater at the Avon Lake Power Plant and performing marine work at the