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Ellicott Wins Contract For 14-Inch Bureau of Reclamation Dredge

Andrew Queral rings the Ellicott bell after getting notice that the company received a contract from the Bureau of Reclamation for a dredge and related equipment.

Andrew Queral rings the Ellicott bell after getting notice that the company received a contract from the Bureau of Reclamation for a dredge and related equipment.

Engineering drawing of the Ellicott 860SL, which will be delivered to Reclamation’s Yuma, Arizona office in June, 2011. Courtesy Ellicott Dredges Engineering Department.

Engineering drawing of the Ellicott 860SL, which will be delivered to Reclamation’s Yuma, Arizona office in June, 2011. Courtesy Ellicott Dredges Engineering Department.

The Imperial Dam on the Arizona/California border traps a huge sediment load. The upstream basin at the top of the picture is one of the many Bureau of Reclamation locations the new Ellicott dredge will be working.

The Imperial Dam on the Arizona/California border traps a huge sediment load. The upstream basin at the top of the picture is one of the many Bureau of Reclamation locations the new Ellicott dredge will be working.

On June 30, Ellicott Dredges was awarded a $3,247,000 contract by the Bureau of Reclamation of the US Department of Interior to provide a 14-inch cutterhead dredge, 20,000 feet of pipeline, two booster pumps, and a dredge tender.
The dredge will be used to clear silt from upstream of the Imperial Dam and other areas, and will pump 16,000 feet to the 1500-acre Laguna settling basin.

Andrew Querel handled the sale for Ellicott, while Doug Lancaster was the Bureau of Reclamation contact at the Yuma area office. The vessel is Ellicott’s newest model - the 860SL - which can be used either as a swinging ladder or in a conventional swing mode. Funding for the dredge purchase came from $3 billion allocated to the Department of the Interior through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Some highlights of the dredge, which will be delivered in June, 2011, are: 800 hp (600 kW) Caterpillar C27 diesel engine; 14-inch x14-inch (350 mm X 356 mm) Ellicott pump; 30 foot (nine-meter) dredging depth; ergonomic electronic controls and automation system in the large operator’s cab; full dredge position monitoring system; remote booster controlled directly from the dredge operator’s cab; anchor booms for self re-set of anchors; spud carriage; biodegradable oil; environmentally sound for water, air, and noise pollution. The combination dredge will be able to work on all of the dredging areas in Reclamation’s responsibility, said Lancaster. These include several basin areas at the Imperial Dam, additional basins in the Needles, California area and one above Morelos Dam in Yuma.

Reclamation is responsible for maintaining flow in more than 40 off-channel backwaters, which include maintaining open channels and small lakes outside the main stem of the Colorado River channel. These environmental restoration projects were done as mitigation requirements for other Reclamation actions, and include enhancement of both riparian and aquatic habitats, said Lancaster.

The swinging ladder configuration will be used in the backwater channel areas, and the conventional configuration will be used in the basins. This will eliminate the need to have multiple types of dredges in the fleet, he said. “Removal of accumulated sediment from the lower stretches of the Colorado River is an ever present issue and challenge,” said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. “Keeping the channel clear of accumulated sediment through regular dredging operations will enhance Reclamation’s ability to provide irrigators along the All-American and Gila Gravity Main canals with reliable water supplies.”

The Bureau of Reclamation manages the channel, banklines, jetties, wash fans, training structures, gates, bridges, levees, and access roads for the 276 river miles of the lower Colorado River from Davis Dam to the border with Mexico. Maintenance focuses on both reliable water delivery as well as protection from flooding. Accumulated sediment is an ongoing issue, and is periodically removed from settling basins and backwaters through large scale dredging operations.

“The ARRA funds represent an important component of the president’s plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century,” stated an Interior Department press release. “Under the ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving America’s timeless treasures – our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage – while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

“With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

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