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DREDGING ROUNDUP North America

DREDGING ROUNDUP North America

BY DAVID MURRAY

Corps Awards Galveston Contract
The Galveston Engineer District awarded a $2,351,700 contract to Manson Construction Co. for maintenance dredging of the Corpus Christi and Houston/Galveston entrance channels.

The contractor will perform the work with the trailing suction hopper dredge Bayport in the Houston/Galveston Entrance Channel for about 25 days beginning October 7 and in the Corpus Christi Entrance Channel for three days in early November.

Small Fishing Port Will Not Be Dredged
Residents of Port Orford, Oregon got bad news in late October when Corps of Engineers officials said the Corps can’t afford to dredge the fishing port now or in the future. Other small ports in the Northwest face similar cuts.

At a small community center, fishermen told the Corps that the harbor in Port Orford has filled with sand. The shallow water causes waves to break over their boats as they leave the dock. Fisherman Donny Goforth told Oregon Public Radio there are fewer days he can safely get to sea.

The Corps said its budget for small port maintenance has been cut in half. It expects to have zero funding available for Port Orford and many other small ports next year and into the foreseeable future.

Seabrook, Hampton Dredging to Begin Mid-November
The maintenance dredging of the harbors of both Seabrook and Hampton, New Hampshire is due to begin November 15, according to the Hampton Union. The contractor, Southwind Construction of Evansville, Indiana, has targeted New Year’s as a tentative completion date.

Marc Habel, chief of the Navigation Section in the Planning Branch of the Corps of Engineers in Concord, Massachusetts, said an estimated 115,000 cubic yards of sediment will be dredged from Seabrook’s harbor bottom and 55,000 cubic yards from Hampton’s.

The dredged material from Hampton Harbor will be deposited on Hampton’s shoreline, Habel said, to provide added nesting areas for piping plovers.

Some homeowners have objected to a fence to protect the nesting plovers, to be installed by the contractor to extend the length of that placement area, by mutual agreement among the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, New Hampshire Fish and Game, and the town of Seabrook.

Sandy Shuts Down Onondaga Dredging
Among its many other impacts, Hurricane Sandy shut down dredging at Lake Onondaga in upstate New York, just outside of Syracuse. Honeywell has been conducting the dredging of more than two million cubic yards of contaminated sediment in one of the state’s largest environmental cleanups.

Originally planned to run nonstop from July 30, the dredging had to shut down for three weeks in September and October when residents of nearby Camillus complained of strong odors.

The slurry is piped four miles to a former Allied Chemical waste bed in Camillus, where it is treated, and will eventually be sealed and covered.

Snohomish Dredging to Last Through February
Maintenance dredging of the shipping channel in the lower Snohomish River began in the last week of October, and is expected to continue through February.

Portable Hydraulic Dredging, Inc. of Eagle Creek, Oregon is doing the $1.5 million job for the Corps of Engineers. Some of the dredged material will be available for use by local governments, while some will reinforce the shoreline along Jetty Island, William Dowell, a Corps spokesman, told local news sources.

An estimated 21,000 tons of material from the upstream site will be stored on the city of Everett property, while 79,000 tons of sediment from the site near the marina will be used at Jetty Island.

In mid-November, crews will use a clamshell crane to dig out the sand in spots that need it, Dowell said. The Corps last dredged the river two years ago. Funding shortages halted any work last year.

Key West to Vote on Dredging in 2013
The Key West City Commission has decided to let voters decide whether to pursue a study analyzing the environmental and economic consequences of dredging and widening the city’s main ship channel, a project estimated to cost about $36 million. The vote will take place Oct. 6, 2013.

The study would include assessment of environmental and socioeconomic impacts, and compliance with the federal Fish and Wildlife Act. The Corps of Engineers would conduct the $3 million study, to be financed by state and federal governments and private businesses.

The project would widen a one-mile stretch of the city’s shipping channel, Cut B, from 300 feet to 450 feet to accommodate larger cruise ships. The work would displace some 150,000 cubic yards of protected sea floor.

Mark Songer, president of environmental group Last Stand, told keysnet.com that dredging and related activities are prohibited in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Miami Dade to Issue Deep Dredge Bonds
Miami Dade County says the Deep Dredge project to deepen Port Miami’s channel from 42 to 50 feet to handle post-Panamax vessels is so important that it will issue bonds to finance nearly all of its half of the $180 million cost, and even the federal government’s share, if need be.

The project was authorized by Congress in 2007, but not funded. Miami-Dade County commissioners in July unanimously approved a Project Partnership Agreement with the Corps of Engineers to advance the federal share of costs, estimated to be about $90 million. The county will seek reimbursement of the federal cost if Congress appropriates the funds, but it has said it is prepared to absorb the whole cost if federal funds are not forthcoming.

In mid-October, the Corps began soliciting bids for contractors that are due November 30. Bids will be awarded in mid-February. The work is expected to be complete in time for the opening of the $5.3 billion expansion of the Panama Canal in the spring of 2015.

Miami-Dade County will pay for Deep Dredge in phases of $108 million in fiscal 2013, $62 million in fiscal 2014 and $10 million in 2015.

Burnaby Lake Project Wins Award
The Association of Consulting Engineers of British Columbia presented an award of merit in the municipal category to the City of Burnaby, British Columbia, and its consultant, Associated Engineering (AE), for its Burnaby Lake dredging and rejuvenation project. The award was announced in April and presented October 25. Burnaby Lake is located next to the Trans-Canada Highway in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Sponsored by the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (ACEC) and Canadian Consulting Engineer Magazine, the Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards comprise the most prominent recognition for consulting engineers in Canada. This year’s annual awards were the 44th.

A representative of the association said that the complex project’s success resulted from creative and innovative engineering to dredge and re-use the sediments and water from the lake, with a focus on sustainability and environmental protection. Because a deeper water column now fosters oxygenation in the lake, rowers have been able to return, spawning salmon have a clear path, and 400 native species are nurtured.

The project was lauded for its “new and unique application of ground penetrating radar and sonar cameras,” which allowed engineers to detect and protect the western painted turtle, an endangered species.

Dredging Begins at Steveston Harbor
The commercial fishing harbor of Steveston Harbor in Delta-Richmond, British Columbia, announced that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans would be dredging the public fish sales float from October 28 through November 22. During this period, the public fish sales float will be closed.

The dredging of Canada's largest fishing harbor is estimated to cost about CAD$2 million, but city officials say at least $8 million to $9 million worth of dredging is needed to fully restore the harbor. Three hundred fifty fishing vessels rely on it to offload 14 million to 30 million kilograms (30.8 to 66 million pounds) of seafood each year. The Richmond Review reports that “significant sedimentation” has narrowed channels since the last round of dredging ended in 2008.

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