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DREDGING ROUNDUP NORTH AMERICA - April/May 2014

Galveston District Awards Testing Contract to Anamar

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District awarded a $258,987.54 small business contract to Anamar Environmental Consulting, Inc. for environmental services including collection and analyses of water and sediment samples from the federally maintained Corpus Christi Ship Channel and offshore dredged material placement site.

“The Corps routinely conducts physical and chemical analysis on dredging projects throughout the Galveston District in order to characterize the shoal material to be excavated during routine maintenance dredging,” Lisa Finn, an environmental project manager with the USACE Galveston Navigation Branch, said. “Through sampling analysis, we are able to review data to make certain we remain in compliance with multiple federal regulations, including the Clean Water Act.”

“This contract involves special Tier III testing for bioassays, which requires the Corps to test animals such as clams that live in the sediment for a period of time,” Finn said. “We then check the animals for toxicity and bioaccumulation in their tissue.”

According to Finn, the Corps performs bioassay testing every five years for offshore disposal sites per agreements with federal partners, including the Environmental Protection Agency.

Work is expected to begin in May 2014.

NJDOT Begins Beach Restoration Projects

The New Jersey Department of Transportation announced on March 14 the beginning of a multi-year, multi-million dollar State Channel Dredging program that will return New Jersey’s waterways to their pre-Superstorm Sandy depths. The state began letting bids in mid-March for various projects that are part of the plan, including Cape May Harbor and Middle Thorofare, Double-Creek and Barnegat Light Stake Channel in Barnegat Bay.

The Waackaack and Thorns Creek project in Monmouth County will begin in June and is expected to remove about 36,000 cubic feet of Sandy-related sediment. It will be deposited in a new adjacent confined disposal facility, on which work will begin in May.

GLDD to Dredge Lake Decatur

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation announced on February 20 that it had won an $89 million contract with the city of Decatur, Illinois, to provide dredging services to increase the capacity of Lake Decatur.

The project, to be performed by GLDD’s Rivers & Lakes division, will dredge nearly 11 million cubic yards of material from Lake Decatur Basins 1 to 4, and will also rehabilitate the Oakley Sediment Basin at the site. The project will restore the lake’s capacity by 30 percent. GLDD previously dredged Basin 6 in 2011.

Lake Decatur was created on the Sangamon River after the river was dammed in 1922. The reservoir serves as the primary water source for Decatur’s 76,000 residents and its large industrial sector. The city has been forced to enact water restrictions in recent years because of drought and low water levels.

Great Lakes’ subsidiary, Terra Contracting Services, LLC will be responsible for the Oakley Sediment Basin rehabilitation.

The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2019.

Searsport Harbor Project in Public Notice Stage

The New England Engineer District held public meetings on February 24 and April 8 to discuss proposed navigation improvements to the existing Federal Navigation Project at Searsport Harbor, Maine.

In response to a resolution of Congress dated July 26, 2000, the USACE New England District, in partnership with the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Port Authority, has undertaken a feasibility study of the improvements.

The selected project would deepen the existing entrance channel and turning basin from a depth of -35 feet to -40 feet at mean lower low water. In addition, the entrance channel, now 500 feet wide at its narrowest point, would be widened to 650 feet, and a maneuvering area adjacent to State Pier’s east berth in Long Cove would be created. Dredged material would be placed in the identified disposal site in Penobscot Bay. With the proposed project, deep draft vessels would be able to access the port more efficiently, and transportation costs for goods arriving at the port would be reduced, according to a statement from the New England District.

Indiana Harbor Dredging Resumes

The Indiana Harbor Option Year 2 dredging in the federal channel is scheduled to resume in April. The 2014 project is in Reach 1 and 4 of the federal channel. Reach 4 dredging is in the southern portion of the turning basin and Reach 1 dredging is at the harbor entrance. Weather conditions will determine the exact dredging location schedule because Reach 1 is outside the harbor, with exposure to large waves during wind and storm events. During these events, dredging will move to Reach 4.

When dredging begins, the tentative work schedule will be 24 hours a day, six or seven days a week. Each day will consist of two 12-hour shifts to mitigate possible problems over a single shift. Working at night will reduce the effects of bridge openings on local traffic. Approximately half of all bridge openings will occur at night; keeping the dredge constantly staffed prevents the need to move on- and off-station each day, and a 24-hour day increases the work-time versus move-time ratio, increasing the productivity of each crew.

Manson Dredging Brownsville Ship Channel

Manson Construction Company has begun an emergency maintenance dredging project in the Brownsville Ship Channel in Brazos Island Harbor. The Galveston Engineer District awarded the $2,455,000 contract.

“Unanticipated shoaling within the federal ship channel prompted the Brazos Santiago Pilots Association (Brownsville Harbor pilots) to issue a draft restriction limiting vessels calling the Port of Brownville to a draft of 37.5 feet,” Chris Frabotta, chief of the Galveston District’s Navigation Branch, said.

Manson will remove approximately 340,000 cubic yards of shoaled material from the jetty channel.

“We will continue to work closely with our non-federal sponsor (Port of Brownsville) to ensure the channel remains open for navigation and with our other project stakeholders (City of South Padre Island, Texas General Land Office and Cameron County Parks) to make every attempt possible to place future channel maintenance material on the adjacent shoreline of South Padre Island,” Frabotta said.

The Galveston District had announced February 21 that it was reopening a bid process on March 3 for the emergency dredging. An initial bid that opened in January was closed without award when all bids came in outside the awardable range.

RLB to Dredge Houston Ship Channel

On April 13, the Galveston District awarded an $8,286,850 contract to RLB Contracting Inc for maintenance dredging from Carpenters Bayou to Greens Bayou, as well as the deep-draft portion of Greens Bayou Channel in the Houston Ship Channel.

The contractor will remove approximately one million cubic yards of shoaled material, which will be placed in Clinton and Lost Lake placement areas.

Goodloe Marine to Dredge GIWW

On April 11, Goodloe Marine, Inc., a women-owned HubZone Small Business, received a $6,318,000 contract from the Galveston Engineer District for maintenance dredging in the GIWW between Turnstake Island and Live Oak Point, in Calhoun, Arkansas and San Patricio counties, Texas. Goodloe will remove approximately 1.6 million cubic yards of material, to be placed in open water and upland placement areas adjacent to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

PG&E Purchasing Dredge for Humboldt Bay

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will pay $2 million for a dredge to be owned and operated by Humboldt County, California.

The money is the result of an agreement between PG&E and the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District to find a solution that allows the dredging of the Fisherman’s Channel in King Salmon. The channel was previously used for once-through cooling at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant. That plant has been replaced by a newer facility that went into operation in 2010. The new plant doesn’t use the oncethrough cooling process.

On March 5, the harbor district voted unanimously to support the agreement. The harbor district will take ownership of the Fisherman’s Channel in King Salmon, and the agency has committed to dredging the channel.

“While working with the harbor district, it became clear that the community would receive more benefit from a long term, local solution to dredging issues than from a one-time project completed by an out-of-area dredge,” Loren Sharp, a PG&E director and nuclear plant manager at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant, said.

PG&E had previously agreed to do the dredging, and now the project will move forward with the harbor district in the lead and with a significant community asset gained in the process.

Dredge Merritt Doing Emergency Job at Oregon Inlet

The Wilmington District’s sidecast Dredge Merritt began emergency dredging at Oregon Inlet on April 24, to remove shoaling that had been obstructing commercial fishing vessels. The Merritt will once again try to open the channel at the navigation span of the Bonner Bridge, according to a Corps news release by Ann Johnson. Recent surveys showed the federal channel with a depth of four feet – a gain of two feet since the district’s last attempt to dredge the channel.

The Merritt is able to achieve a controlling depth of six feet; the district will use the Dredge Currituck to continue dredging the channel, and will place the dredged material near the scour hole at the Bonner Bridge, south of the inlet’s navigation span. The Currituck is scheduled to dredge Onancock Inlet beginning May 1. The Merritt is committed to dredging Carolina Beach Inlet beginning May 1.

Oak Orchard Harbor Gets Dredge Funding

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced on March 11 that an Oak Orchard Harbor maintenance project this year would be funded through the Sandy Supplemental Appropriations bill. The project is valued at $420,000.

Schumer said that the dredging will allow recreational traffic to move more efficiently, and will support the charter fishing industry in the area, which generates approximately $269,000 in annual income.

Oak Orchard Harbor is on the southern shore of Lake Ontario at the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek in upper New York State.

Schumer met with the Buffalo Engineer District Director, LTC Owen J. Beaudoin, who confirmed the Corps’ plans and estimated that the dredging would be completed by June 15.

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