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DREDGING HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PAST - January 2012

30 YEARS AGO – 1982
IDR reported on a visit to the first dredge and survey boat to use GPS for positioning with no backup by land-based systems – Fraser River Dredge & Dock in Vancouver, B.C.

Dredges were working to restore flow to the Cowlitz River, a tributary of the Columbia in Washington State, filled with volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount St. Helens two years before. The Corps requested a billion dollar, 15-year program for removing the ash. Contractors were running into problems with abrasive volcanic ash chewing up their equipment.

20 YEARS AGO – 1992

Richard Lowry was made senior vice president of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, and Bradley T. Hansen, Daniel L. Hussin, Philip M. Pearse and Martin R. Snow were made vice presidents.

President Reagan requested $3,774,631,000 for the FY 1993 Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program. “The budget seeks to balance activities that foster economic growth and environmental considerations,” said Nancy P. Dorn, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

10 YEARS AGO – 2002

By January 20, 2002 the Weeks 500 and 524 cranes had unloaded 481,000 tons of debris from the World Trade Center onto barges at Pier 25, near the disaster site. Joe Ruff, assistant project manager, said “They thought it would take a solid year (to complete the debris removal), but now they are saying it might be completed in May.”

Tom Wakeman, Richard Larrabee and others continued to reconstruct from memory the Port of New York and New Jersey 50-foot channel project plan in temporary offices in Port Elizabeth New Jersey. All documents, records, contact lists and other information disappeared in the destruction of the World Trade Center, and had to be re-created. Larrabee, who had been in his office on the 62nd floor of Tower 1 when the first plane hit, escaped from the building, which took 45 minutes. He continued working at the site for four days. “After September 11, as we crawled out of the rubble, people were saying ‘what can we do to help?’” said Larrabee. “Our agenda is getting our 50-foot project.”

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