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Dredging Roundup - North America

Hanson Pulls Out Of Allegheny River
Hanson Aggregates, a division of Germanbased HeidelbergCement, the world’s largest aggregate producer, announced in June that it will not seek to renew its permit to dredge sand and gravel on the bottom of publicly owned Pool 5, from Mile 30.7 to Mile 31.7, about 31 miles from Pittsburgh’s Point. The permit it set to expire at the end of the year.

Hanson’s decision will end commercial sand and gravel mining on the river. A Hanson spokesman, Jeff Sieg, told local media that the company’s Allegheny River equipment will be either sold or redeployed.

Hanson and another dredge operator, Tri-State River Products Inc. of Beaver, Pa., will continue to dredge for channel maintenance.

Sief said economics and environmental regulations combined to make the operation unprofitable. Since 2006, dredging permits have required companies to conduct mussel and fish population surveys and to fund habitat restoration.

 

Caseville Dredging Behind Schedule, But On Track
The Caseville, Michigan City Council approved a resolution receiving a bid on May 14 for the Pigeon River dredging project by engineering firm Anderson, Eckstein and Westbrick Inc. Project costs are not supposed to exceed $630,000—the amount Caseville was allotted as part of an emergency state dredging bill for Michigan lakeside communities hit by declining lake levels.

The schedule the council set for itself in January is about a month behind, because permitting and finding the funds took longer than anticipated. The award was made shortly after May 20.

The project involves the removal of about 20,000 cubic yards of sand along the breakwall to the harbor basin, as well as dredging the harbor basin itself.

 

Bay County Approves Dredging
The Bay County, Florida Commission approved a dredging project May 21 that will cost 114 property owners $4,936 apiece to improve a canal system in their neighborhood.

The commission voted unanimously for the Municipal Services Benefit Unit (MSBU) project, which will spend $711,885 to dredge 8,800 linear feet of a canal system in the Kings Point subdivision. The subdivision is in the northern part of Panama City, but partly located outside the city limits.

The canal system, which is fed by Robinson Bayou, abuts the 114 parcels, and each owner will be charged the same amount. Only 73 (64 percent) of the 114 property owners responded by signing the petition favoring the project, but that’s enough to move it forward.

The county ordinance requires at least 60 percent of the affected owners to approve the project before it can proceed, or that owners who hold at least 60 percent of the footage affected by the project approve it.

A few owners did object; the commission received three negative letters and one oral objection.

“I understand some people don’t want it done, but for the betterment of our community, it is a good project,” said Commissioner Mike Thomas.

 

Oconto River Dredging Begins
The first phase of the dredging of the Oconto River in Wisconsin began on June 15. The Oconto city council had approved the bid by Veit and Company, based in Rogers, Minnesota on May 14.

The Oconto River flows easterly into the southern tip of Green Bay. The $284,519 cost was included in bonds the city issued last year. The first phase, begun on June 15, will improve the channel from the mouth of the river to the Hi Seas marina.

The second phase will go over the same section of river, but will increase the width of the dredged area from 50 to 60 feet, and go two feet deeper. That work will cost $1.051 million, but it depends on the city’s receiving a grant through the Department of Transportation’s Harbor Assistance Program. The grant would pay for 80 percent of the cost, while the city’s share will come in the form of in-kind service, primarily storing the dredged material.

 

New Jersey Canal To Be Dredged
The New Jersey Water Supply Authority, which has responsibility for maintaining the supply of water from the D&R Canal, is planning to dredge the roughly eight-mile section of the canal between Kingston and East Millstone over three years, beginning December 15 of this year and ending February 10, 2017. The goal is to improve the water flow along the canal, impeded by more than 50 years of silt.

The plan presented at a public meeting by the NJWSA on May 13 calls for hydraulic dredging. The slurry will be pumped to a single staging area covering several acres on a property adjoining Canal Road approximately half a mile north of its intersection with Route 518 in Rocky Hill. There the material will be separated, dried and transported by truck to other sites for use as fill. The amount of material to be removed is estimated at 240,000 cubic yards, or 24,000 loads in 10-cubic-yard dump trucks.

 

Sodus Bay Dredging Approved
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved a request to dredge Little Sodus Bay harbor in Fair Haven, N.Y., Rep. Dan Maffei announced May 23. After reviewing whether dredging the harbor was necessary, the Corps determined that it is needed due to damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, according to Maffei’s office. Dredging will begin in early 2014, Maffei said. Details about the cost of the project and how much of the harbor will be dredged weren’t immediately available, but federal Sandy relief funds will be used to pay for the project.

Fair Haven Mayor William McVea told local media that the decision to move forward with dredging will help the village and the local economy.

McVea said sailboats visit the area from other parts of the state and Canada. During the summer months, access to the channel is important for local businesses that depend on the warm season to make their profi ts for the year.

 

New Buffalo Gets New Beach In Two Days
The city of New Buffalo, Michigan received a brand-new beach in two days, June 14 through 16—courtesy of federal relief funds for Superstorm Sandy, which had shifted sand along the shoreline. The federally-funded harbor dredging cost about $275,000. A separate dredging project up the Galien River to New Buffalo’s boat ramp, costing about $500,000, was paid for by a combination of money from the state, city, the Pokagon Fund derived from casino revenues of the Pokagon tribe, and Harbor Pointe Condominiums. Additional dredging, done by the city’s contractor Donkersloot and Sons Marine, improved a launch access channel and improved access to the city’s transient marina slips.

 

Corps To Dredge Lower Snake River
The Seattle Engineer District said June 26 that it plans to dredge the lower Snake River this winter to maintain its navigation channel.

The Corps is wrapping up its work studying sources and ways to control sediment in the lower Snake, Kristin Meira, Pacifi c Northwest Waterways Association executive director, told local media. Meira said the channel requires maintenance dredging every three to four years.

Funding for dredging has been included in the administration’s proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins October 1, Meira said.

The dredging will not require a closure of the system. The Corps and its contractors work around navigation schedules during that time and dredge only when their activities will have minimum impact on fi sh that are protected under the Endangered Species Act, Meira said.

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