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DREDGING ROUNDUP NORTH AMERICA - January/February 2015

SNAKE RIVER, BURBANK, WASHINGTON

The Seattle Engineer District completed federal navigation channel dredging at Ice Harbor Lock and Dam on the Lower Snake River by January 14. The Corps’ dredging contractor, American Construction Company, removed about 2,000 cubic yards of material at the downstream lock approach of Ice Harbor Dam in Burbank, Washington. The lock was operating normally after dredging.

Dredging on the Snake began shortly after a federal judge in Seattle, Washington, rejected a request on January 6 to delay dredging by opponents until their suit can be heard.

District Court Judge James Robart rejected a request by the Nez Perce Tribe and a coalition of environmental groups to delay dredging. The tribe argued that dredging could threaten the Pacific lamprey, which migrates up the Snake River and is eaten ceremonially by the tribe. The suit also claimed the corps didn’t consider global warming in its review or properly investigate alternatives to dredging.

After the Ice Harbor Dam dredging was completed, the plan was to move the work upriver to the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, as well as to the ports of Lewiston, Idaho, and Clarkston, Washington.

The plan from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers calls for about 400,000 cubic yards of sediment to be removed from the navigation channel and port berthing areas.

The river was last dredged in the winter of 2005-2006, and the navigation channel, authorized by Congress at 14 feet deep, is as shallow as seven feet in some places. 

SNAKE RIVER, MORAN WYOMING

In another part of the Snake River upriver, Grand Teton National Park began a riverbank restoration project January 16 to remove approximately 13 tons of old angle iron beams from the Buffalo Fork of the Snake River in Moran, Wyoming.

Grand Teton proposed the removal of these structures in its Snake River Headwaters Comprehensive River Management Plan, completed in 2014. Shortly after, permits were obtained from the Army Corps of Engineers and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, and a restoration effort was launched.

Ridgeline Excavation of Jackson, Wyoming, is contracted to remove about 13 tons of the angle iron beams, using a tracked excavator. The pieces will be recycled as scrap metal after removal.

The contracted restoration work is taking place during the winter, when the ground is frozen and snow-covered, to minimize environmental impacts to the riparian habitat. Ice bridges have been constructed to support the tracked excavator and reduce impacts to vegetation and soils.

The Buffalo Fork project is the third in a series of recent riparian restoration projects that benefit park resources. In the fall of 2010, Grand Teton worked with Trout Unlimited and other partners to remove the Spread Creek Dam, and in 2013 removed the Newbold Dam near Kelly, also with help from Trout Unlimited.

ARTHUR KILL CHANNEL, ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company LLC, Oak Brook, Illinois, has won a $25.6 million firm-fixed-price contract from the New York Engineer District for the Arthur Kill Channel Navigation project. This development program will  include dredging, blasting and disposal of rock.

Work will be performed in Elizabeth, New Jersey (10 percent); Linden, New Jersey (40 percent); and Staten Island, New York (50 percent), with an estimated completion date of November 20.

PORT OF ANCHORAGE, ALASKA

The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded Manson Construction of Seattle, Washinton, a $8.5 million, firm-fixed-price multi-year contract with options for maintenance dredging at the Port of Anchorage, Alaska, with an estimated completion date of May 30, 2017.

Bids were solicited via the Internet, with four received. Fiscal 2015 operations and maintenance

(Army) procurement funds in the amount of $8,500,400 are being obligated at the time of the award.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, is the contracting entity (W912DS-15-C-0006).

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA

Brevard County, Florida, whose beaches are among the state’s most visited, will spend $10 million this year to dredge five sites: the mouth of Turkey Creek in Palm Bay; canals along Sykes Creek and in Cocoa Beach; the Grand canal and nearby canals in Satellite Beach; and waters near the Jones road boat ramp in Mims.

The projects will dredge about 40,000 cubic yards of material from Turkey Creek and 87,000 cubic yards from the canals, which will go to a disposal site just north of the creek near U.S. 1 that is managed by the Florida Inland Navigation District.

Altogether, the projects will remove about 1.4 million cubic yards of material. The lagoon has been suffering from algae blooms, including a “superbloom” in 2011 that killed off about 60 percent of its seagrass. Hundreds of manatees, pelicans and dolphins died in the superbloom’s wake.

CAPE MAY, AVALON, NEW JERSEY

The dredging of Princeton Harbor near Cape May, New Jersey, halted December 31 to comply with local environmental regulations that limit bay dredging to specific times of the year. The Borough of Avalon was able to get permit modifications to extend the project by four days, which allowed the town of Avalon to hit its target for the first year.

All contracted private slip dredging in Princeton Harbor was also completed.

The borough’s contractor, Mobile Dredging and Dock Company, will return to the project September 15, the next date when dredging is permitted.

LIDO BEACH, FLORIDA

The $3.6 million Lido Beach restoration project to replenish sand lost during Tropical Storm Debby began January 15. Lido Beach is located on an island off the coast of Sarasota, Florida, south of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The project will bolster 1.8 miles of shoreline.

Dredging will be conducted 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the project is completed in mid-March.

Up to 197,000 cubic yards of sand from the New Pass shoal will be placed on Lido Beach over the next two months to restore the area to the condition it was in prior to Tropical Storm Debby in 2012. In some places, as much as 100 feet of sand has eroded, threatening property and infrastructure.

Depending upon the amount of sand recycled, projected costs are expected to be approximately $3.6 million with those dollars funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Department of Environment and the Tourist Development Tax.

This project is in addition to a separate Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project for the area.

COMPO BEACH, WESTPORT, CONNECTICUT

A dredging project at Compo Beach, in Westport, Connecticut, has been underway since October and is scheduled to be completed in February. FGB Construction of Norwalk is now dredging the waterway so that boats in the marina will have free access. The maintenance project includes armoring the nearby slope with riprap to prevent erosion. The cost of the project, estimated at $450,000, is paid for by marina user fees.

The channel has not been dredged for 20 years, and the city is seeking permits for the next October-through-February cycle, mandated to preserve fish breeding cycles.

LONG BEACH ISLAND, NEW JERSEY

At the beginning of December, the Philadelphia Engineer District awarded a contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock for $128 million to complete the initial construction of the Long Beach Island Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project in New Jersey.

The project is a joint effort of the Army Corps’ Philadelphia District and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Eight million cubic yards of sand will be dredged from a borrow area approximately three miles offshore of Long Beach Island. The sand will be pumped ashore on the beach at Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom, Beach Haven and Surf City, over a 12.7-mile stretch. The sand and berm system built from the sand will reduce potential damage to infrastructure during coastal storms. The contract also includes construction of dune crossovers, placement of sand fencing and dune grass plantings.

The Long Beach Island Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project was only partially completed when Hurricane Sandy hit the New Jersey shore. The Army Corps completed the initial construction of the project at Surf City (3rd-22nd street) in 2006; Harvey Cedars in 2010; and Brant Beach (31st and 57th Streets) in Long Beach Township in 2012. The Army Corps repaired previously constructed beaches in Surf City and Harvey Cedars in 2011, and fully restored the previously constructed beaches within the three communities after Hurricane Sandy in 2013. The restoration and repair work was funded 100 percent through the Army Corps’ Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program. The current contract will complete the initial construction of the dune and berm system on Long Beach Island.

Work is expected to be completed by May 2016.

MATAGORDA AND CALHOUN COUNTY, TEXAS

With the completion of the Westhampton Dunes coastal storm risk management project, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed the last of 25 post-Sandy federal beach repair projects. This project involved placing 750,000 cubic yards of sand. (Photo by: James D’Amborsio, public affairs, New York District) See the related article on page 19.

In December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, awarded three contract options in the amount of $4.3 million to Orion Marine Construction Inc. for dredging of additional reaches of the Matagorda Ship Channel in Matagorda and Calhoun counties in Texas.

Orion will remove approximately 1,985,000 cubic yards of material by early 2015. The dredge material from the maintenance project will be place in open-water, unconfined placement areas.

These contract options are an extension of a $5.77 million dredging contract in 2014 that allowed for the removal of approximately 1.2 million cubic yards of material from Matagorda Peninsula to Point Comfort. A portion of the contract was paid for with non-federal funds from the Calhoun Port Authority for the dredging of port berthing areas.

“A unique benefit of this recently-completed contract featured cooperative partnering with the Audubon Society as well as state and federal resource agencies for the beneficial use of approximately 126,000 cubic yards of dredged material on Sundown-Island (an Audubon Society colonial waterbird sanctuary) to enhance bird habitat,” said George Dabney, an operations manager in the USACE Galveston District’s Navigation Branch. “The rookery island was under constant attack from strong currents, wind, ship wakes and storms, resulting in shoreline erosion that destroyed more than 20 percent of the 60-acre island.”

The dredged material added about five acres to the island.

The Matagorda Ship Channel was constructed in the 1960s to allow deep-draft vessels to travel between the Gulf of Mexico and Matagorda and Lavaca Bays. The channel is part of Port of Port Lavaca – Point Comfort, a major seaport in the state and nation, and carries approximately 11.6 million tons of commerce annually.

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