International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

The eastward expansion doubles as a dredged material containment area and ultimately a fourth container terminal for the Virginia Ports Authority. Drawing courtesy of Norfolk District COE.


This concept drawing depicts the finished south dike and cross dike for the eastward expansion. Photo courtesy of Norfolk District COE


Midway through the project the two dikes rise above water level. Manson brought the dikes to +10 MLLW. The photo looks east and across the channel is the Norfolk Naval Base. Photo courtesy of Norfolk District COE.


The certificate recognizing the zero lost man hours hangs in the galley/mess area of the Glenn Edwards.

The Corps Norfolk District awarded Manson Construction Co. its Spirit of Safety Award in recognition of Mansons completion of the Craney Island Eastward Expansion Stage 2A contract with no lost-time injuries. This included 28861 man-hours over the 151 days of the project.

Mike  Anderson  Norfolk  District  project manager said that the District started the Spirit of Safety Award several years ago to recognize a contractor at the completion of a project and that it reflects the safety performance over the life of the contract and is based on lost time statistics.

“The recognition program has only been in place for a few years and over that time the Corps has recognized only a few contractors” Anderson  said.  “Safety  is  paramount  to  the Army Corps of Engineers and the recognition goes to contractors who have met or exceeded the  safety standard set by the Corps. Manson Constructions work was complex and the standard they set for safety was among the best seen in my experience as a project manager he said.

The award certificate hangs in the galley/mess area aboard the Glenn Edwards.

Manson  Construction  Co.  was  the  first dredging company to adopt the Incident and Injury Free (IIF) safety protocol signing on in 2004.

The $21490000 contract was awarded on August 8 2012 and Notice to Proceed was issued on October 5 2012. Manson began work on December 1 2012 and completed the project on April  30 2013 using its 13000-cubic-yard hopper dredge Glenn Edwards a spill barge a tug and derrick barge as well as land-based equipment to contour the dikes to an elevation of +10 feet MLLW. Craney Island is approximately 30 miles away from the AOC borrow area.

The award was presented in May.

The project involved dredging 1.4 million cubic yards of material from the Atlantic Ocean Federal Navigation Channel off Norfolk and placing it to create a south dike and cross dike for the Craney Island Eastward Expansion (CIEE) which will add 522 acres to the dredged material placement area.

Manson Vice President Henry Schorr said that the project ran in two shifts per day with approximately 30 people per shift. Dave Howard vice president and dredge operations manager and Juan Valdez project manager oversaw the project. Frank Shuka and Bill Anderson were the dredge captains and Billy House and Ray Given were fill superintendents.

“The primary purpose of the project was to continue building the dikes for the Eastward Expansion and not maintenance dredging to provide navigation for the Atlantic Ocean Channel (AOC)” said the Corps’ Mike Anderson. “With that stated the AOC was used as the designated borrow source because the sand in the channel is very compatible with the dike building requirements. For building the dikes out of the water this borrow area is the least-cost environmentally acceptable source. Federal construction and local sponsor funds were used to award the contract. No O&M funds were used” he said explaining that dredging occurred in areas of the channel containing the best sand and best production rate for hopper dredging with an indirect benefit to navigation.

“The final elevation (of the dikes) will be +18 mean lower low water (MLLW)” Anderson said. “The work that Manson accomplished was Phase 2 but was momentous as it brought the dikes out of the water. The completed dikes will have a crest width of 50 feet (much wider at the bottom); and length of about 2700 feet” he said.

The Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area (CIDMMA) is a 2500-acre disposal area completed in 1957 to contain material dredged from channels and ports in the Hampton Roads area which includes the ports of Norfolk Portsmouth Chesapeake Newport News and Hampton.

A feasibility study conducted by the Norfolk District at the request of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure concluded in 2006 found that Craney Island would reach capacity in 2025 and the Virginia Port Authority would run out of cargo handling capacity in 2011. The District evaluated 51 alternatives for dredged material placement and 25 alternatives for container handling capacity and an eastward expansion of Craney Island emerged as the best solution to increase dredged material handling capacity and also provide an area to construct the fourth marine terminal.

The final feasibility study recommended an eastward expansion with a future project planned to strengthen the western dikes. The feasibility study and environmental impact statement (EIS) were approved by Chief of Engineers Lt. Gen. Carl A. Stock in October 2006.

Contracts for the project were scheduled to be bid in phases to match project funding. The expansion is projected to generate $6 billion in National Economic Development (NED) benefits over the 50-year life of the project.