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Dredging Roundup / NORTH AMERICA Sep/Oct 2015

BEALS HARBOR AND PIG ISLAND GUT, BEALS, MAINE

The Corps of Engineers posted an announcement August 11 that it will be issuing an Invitation for Bid for maintenance dredging in Beals Harbor and Pig Island Gut, Beals, Maine.

The will remove a total of about 100,000 cubic yards by mechanical dredging. Removal of about 30 tons of heavy boulders, large debris and derelict moorings will also be required. About 83,000 cubic yards of sediment will be removed from the Beals Harbor 10-foot-deep anchorage, and about 17,000 cubic yards will be removed from the Pig Island Gut six-foot-deep channel and six-foot-deep anchorage.

The dredged material will be removed using a mechanical dredge and scows. Disposal will be in open water, at the previously-used Mark Island Disposal Site in Chandler Bay, about five miles away.

Bidders should become familiar with the proposed haul route to the disposal site. The dredging and disposal window is from November 1 to March 31, 2016. The project’s estimated cost is between $2 million and $5 million.

Dredging operations will be permitted 24 hours per day and seven days per week. Beals Harbor has not been maintained since 1956 and Pig Island Gut has not been maintained since 1965.

HOUSTON SHIP CHANNEL PLACEMENT AREAS, HOUSTON, TEXAS

The Galveston Engineer District announced August 6 that it has awarded a $2.6 million contract to RLB Contracting Inc. for replacement of the drop-outlet structures as Spilman Island Placement Area in Houston.

Tricia Campbell, operations manager in the district’s navigation branch, said, “Spilman Island Placement Area provides capacity for maintenance material dredged from the Houston Ship Channel and Barbours Cut Terminal Channel navigation projects. The drop-outlet structures control the flow of water, which drains out of the placement area into the surrounding water during maintenance activities.”

Work began in August, with an estimated completion date of February 2016.

In July, the Galveston District also awarded contract to Bertucci Contracting Company, LLC for shoreline stabilization along the Houston Ship Channel’s Mid Bay Placement Area and Placement Area 15. Affolter Contracting Company Inc. was also awarded a contract for dewatering at the placement area. Work was set to begin August, with an estimated completion date of March 2015.

PENOBSCOT BAY, SEARSPORT, MAINE

On September 8, the New England Engineer District withdrew its state permitting application for a Penobscot Bay dredging project. The project was to improve Searsport, Maine’s second-busiest port, by expanding its turning basin and deepening the approach channel from 35 to 40 feet.

But the Corps’ plan for placing the nearly one million cubic yards of dredged material triggered opposition over concerns about mercury contamination. The Corps wanted to place the material in the middle of western Penobscot Bay, halfway between Asboro and Northport, in deep depressions on the bottom, but some scientists testified that the depressions were actually methane vents that would disperse the material and leave it suspended in the bay.

In a letter sent to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, project manager Barbara Blumeris said the Corps was withdrawing its application for the required state permits. “We may consider filing a revised application … at a later date,” she wrote.

The letter was co-signed by John Henshaw, director of the Maine Port Authority, a cosponsor of the project.

Henshaw said the department remains committed to the project, but that it needed more time to prepare for the public hearing process and additional time to develop the project and submit plans at a later date.

CANEY CREEK, BRAZORIA AND MATAGORDA COUNTIES, TEXAS

The Galveston Engineer District awarded a contract to Orion Marine Construction worth about $1.6 million for emergency dredging of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at Caney Creek beginning July 21. The contract called for Orion to remove about 103,000 cubic yards of material at the busy waterway.

Seth Jones, operations manager with the Galveston District, said, “In response to grounding reports from the barge industry, the USACE Galveston District awarded an emergency modification to Orion’s existing GIWW across Aransas Bay contract to address two high-shoal areas that are causing draft restrictions and present potential navigational safety hazards to industry and users of the waterway.”

The dredged material will be placed in the surf zone, where it will nourish eroding beaches.

Dredging at Caney Creek began first and about 66,000 cubic yards of material will be removed, followed by dredging at the Brazos River floodgates of about 37,000 cubic yards of material.

CONFINED DISPOSAL FACILITY, BUFFALO, NEW YORK

The Buffalo Engineer District awarded a $2.3 million contract to SAF Inc. of Akron, Ohio, on July 23 to conduct maintenance repairs to the confined disposal facility dike Number 4 in Buffalo, New York.

The work began August 3 and is scheduled to continue through the end of the 2016 construction season.

The CDF, located at the south end of Buffalo Harbor, was built in 1977 by building a stone perimeter dike from the Lake Erie shoreline, south of the Buffalo harbor entrance, to the lakeward end of the South Entrance Arm Breakwater.

Geoff Hintz, Buffalo Engineer District project manager, said, “Since the CDF was built, decades of storm wave action and freeze/thaw cycling have deteriorated [the dike] and shifted the large stones on the dike crest. The repair work will assure that the CDF continues to function as originally design.”

The repair work involves moving large stones at the dike crest and placing them downslope to fill voids. Smaller stones will be placed at the crest and will also fill voids created by wave action and grouted to lock everything together, creating a solid base to install castin-place concrete blocks at the dike crest. New large stones will be placed against the blocks for grater structural integrity.

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