International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

The Corps of Engineers National Dredging Meeting will be held in mid-May at the Springfield Hilton Hotel Springfield Virginia.

Thomas Verna organizer has blocked out three possible days May 16 through 18 for the one-day event. The final date will be announced on the Corps of Engineers Navigation Data Center website:

The annual meeting provides a forum for dredging contractors to speak directly to Corps of Engineers representatives. Barry Holliday chief of the Corps of Engineers Dredging and Navigation Branch plans to focus on safety issues in response to a number of accidents this past year where people were killed and disabled. Most of the U.S. dredging contractors who perform government contracts attend the meeting.

The 1999 National Dredging Meeting was held on May 26 1999 at the Springfield Hilton.

Opening the meeting Barry Holliday said “We need to have some kind of consistent funding. It’s a jeopardy situation that we can’t count on capitalization for our port and navigation program.”

He was referring to the Harbor Services User Fee the Clinton administration proposes by to replace the Harbor Maintenance Trust fund that was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The user fee which would be assessed to ships using U.S. ports is widely considered by the marine industry to be a method of unfairly passing on responsibility for channel maintenance to a segment of the economy that is already heavily taxed a responsibility that should be borne by the government.

Charles Hess chief of the Corps of Engineers Operations Division Directorate of Civil Works also addressed the group.

Chris Monek of the associated General contractors of America Tom Chase American Association of Port Authorities and Mark Sickles director of the Dredging Contractors of America all made welcoming comments.

Dr. Raimo A. Liias described Phase II of the New York Harbor Deepening Project. The Port of New York and New Jersey is the third largest container port in the United States supports 166500 jobs and serves 37 million people within 250 miles of the port he said.

The Kill Van Kull deepening from 40 feet to 45 feet is underway he said while the Port Jersey deepening from 35 feet to 40/41 feet the Arthur Kill deepening from 35 feet to 41/41 feet have plans and specs available and the Arthur Kill deepening to 45 feet is in the pre-engineering stage. Under study is the benefit of deepening all the channels to 50 feet and more he said. The goal is to make New York the North Atlantic’s hub port he said.

Dr. Robert Engler discussed the operations and environmental research program at the Waterways Experiment station (WES) and Doug Clarke spoke on dredging environmental windows.

Bill Bergen chief of surveying at Corps headquarters described updated policies standards and technical procedures for hydrographic surveying. Harvey Beverly of the Corps Los Angeles District described using multibeam systems on the Pier 400 deepening project at the Port of Long Beach.

A panel on dredging safety consisted of Mary Hay director of Safety Programs for the Corps South Atlantic Division; John Adams chief of Operations of the Jacksonville District who described government safety procedures including the manual ”Safety Pays” published by the Jacksonville District and given out to all companies contracting with the District. Dick Vorhees of Weeks Marine and Glenn Thomas of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock described safety procedures in their companies.

Ginny Pankow described her activities at the Navigation Data Center where she maintains statistics on dredging contracts. For fiscal year 1999 there were 284 government dredging contracts scheduled involving excavation of 364849807 cubic yards of material. John Pointon of the Corps Institute for Water Resources presented an analysis of dredging data. The dredging industry averaged 81 percent of the overall dredging program in 1998 with the rest handled by the Corps of Engineers fleet of 12 government-owned dredges

Barry Holliday discussed the small business program explaining the incentives for emerging minority and small dredging companies.

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