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Great Lakes Receives Hammer Award

Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Congressman J. Joseph Moakley, Massachusetts 9th District, presented the Hammer Award to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s president Doug Mackey on February 28. The ceremony took place at the Fish Pier Conference Center, overlooking Boston Harbor.



The joint recipients of the award were a partnership of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Massachusetts Port Authority and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company.



Individuals from Great Lakes Dredge & Dock involved in the project include Rich Johnson, project manager; Douglas Ipolito, superintendent; Michael Russell, project engineer; Brian Barns, Chris Bonn, Mike Campagnone, Lee Warren and Mike Warrick, field engineers; Morgan Richie and Donna Steeg, office managers; and Captains Mike Clark, Jim Duffy, Phil Fox, Jack Lytjen, DanMcKeithan, Bill Russell and Phil Sanzone.



“The members of this partnership built a better mousetrap for dredging the harbor and dredging the Cape Cod Canal, too, with a direct savings of $1.5 million and significant environmental benefits,” said Senator Kennedy. “The Hammer Award is well deserved. It’s good government at its best.” He went on to say “the deeper channels mean that Boston will continue to be a thriving port in the next century, just as it has been for centuries past.”



The award recognizes the approach the team developed to use an estimated 200,000 cubic yards of clean sand dredge from the Cape Cod Canal as capping material for contaminated sediments begin removed from Boston Harbor and placed into deep disposal pits or cells in the waterway. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock removed the material from the canal at no additional cost to the government, accounting for the estimated $1.5 million in savings. In addition to the money benefits, use of the dredged material eliminated the need for purchasing sand cover from area gravel pits and the associated 10,000 truck trips through Boston streets to get the material to he shore.



“At a time when cost overruns in government projects dominate the news, it is a pleasure to recognize the success and efficiency of this award-wining team of federal, state and private sector entities for their outstanding work in dredging Boston Harbor on time and under budget,” said Congressman Moakley.



During his address, Dr. Joseph Westphal, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works said “the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was most pleased to be able to partner with Massport and Great Lakes on the improvement project that will ensure the economic viability of Boston Harbor as a principal port along the eastern seaboard. We are also very pleased that our efforts in this project was recognized by the National Partnership for Reinventing government with this Hammer Award.”



“The American taxpayer has always appreciated money well spent. From the Tea Party thrown just a few miles from here and more than 200 years ago today, people have wanted a say in how their tax money is used,” said Colonel Brian E. Osterndorf, head of the Army Engineers in New England.



“This project represents a win-win-win situation,” said Massport executive director and CEO Virginia Buckingham. “The combined efforts of federal, state and private interests have produced a project that has saved substantial monies, improved harbor safety and enhanced the Port of Boston.”



The awards are part of the vice president’s Reinventing government program, which encourages federal agencies to be creative in reducing the cost of government, precluding such things as the $400 hammers of yesteryear. The award itself consists of a hammer, a red, white and blue ribbon and a note from the vice president, all in an aluminum frame. More than 1200 Hammer Awards have been presented to teams of federal, state and local agencies and others who are working to build a better government.



The Boston Harbor improvement project involves increasing the channel depth to 40 feet in the Main Ship Channel, the Mystic River, Inner confluence and Reserved Channel, and to 38 feet in the Chelsea River. The Massachusetts Port Authority is acting as the project sponsor and is providing the non-federal cost-sharing portion. The total improvement project cost is about $14 million. An additional $23 million is being spent on maintenance dredging. The contract was awarded to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company for in May 1998 for $31.9 million, and work is almost complete. (See International Dredging Review, January 1999, cover story “Great Lakes Finishes Mystic River Maintenance in $32 million Boston Harbor Project.)


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