FOUR DREDGES AND THREE CONTRACTORS OPERATE IN CHARLESTON DISTRICT AT ONCE
In late March the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District had four different dredges working in Charleston Harbor on three different projects – at the lower and upper harbor and the entrance channel.
“It’s very rare to have this much dredging activity at one time in Charleston” said Wes Wilson project manager. “Each area of the harbor has a different time frame but they happened to all line up this year.”
Normally the lower harbor is dredged every 12 months the upper harbor every 18 months and the entrance channel every 24 months. That means they should only be working at the same time every six years.
The entrance channel work this year wasn’t originally planned for this time period. The work being done by the Manson hopper dredge Glenn Edwards started in 2016 but was halted as the timeframe crawled into turtle nesting season after the dredge got a late start due to responding to the flooding in the Mississippi in 2015.
That’s the case with the upper harbor dredging as well where the two pipeline dredges Marinex’s Brunswick and Southern Dredging Company’s Cherokee are working simultaneously to make up for lost time from their previous job.
The Marinex dredge Peter de Jong is performing annual maintenance dredging at the lower harbor. That material is going to the offshore Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site along with sediment from the entrance channel.
Marinex’s dredge Peter de Jong performs annual maintenance dredging in the lower Charleston Harbor.
MARTIN ASSOCIATES REPORTS ON ECONOMIC IMPACTS FOR PORTMIAMI
In April Martin Associates released the 2016 Local and Regional Economic Impacts of PortMiami. Handling approximately 8.9 million tons of cargo and nearly 5.1 million cruise passengers PortMiami is a leading cargo and cruise port located in Miami Florida. PortMiami recently completed a series of capital improvements totaling around $1 billion including deepening the harbor channel from 42 to 50 feet.
Martin Associates was retained by PortMiami to measure the local and regional economic impacts generated by maritime activity at the marine cargo and cruise terminals at PortMiami for calendar year 2016.
In summary for 2016 PortMiami supported 324352 jobs $41.4 billion of total economic activity (4.4 percent of the state GDP) and $1.5 billion of state and local taxes.
The report said ”The importance of the $1 billion of investment in channel deepening to 50 ft. the completion of the new tunnel that provides direct access between the marine terminals and I-395 and I-95 modernization of on dock rail and new cranes that can handle the larger Post-Panamax ships is reflected by the fact that over the past four years the Port has increased its containerized tonnage by nearly 1 million tons or 60000 containers and has grown its cruise passengers by 1.3 million passengers since 2012. In turn this growth in cargo and cruise business at the Port has increased the economic importance of PortMiami to the south Florida region and to the State.”
The Martin Associates’ approach to economic impact analysis is based on data developed through an extensive interview and telephone survey program of the Port’s tenants and the firms providing cargo and cruise services at PortMiami. In addition a survey of 1300 cruise passengers and 300 cruise vessel crew was conducted to develop passenger spending profiles pre-and post-cruise as well as the spending characteristics of the vessel crew during each port call at Miami.
The study employs methodology and definitions that have been used by Martin Associates to measure the economic impacts of seaport activity at more than 500 ports in the U.S. and Canada.
FOUR SHEP CONTRACTS NEARING COMPLETION
Contractors are expected to wrap up four contracts associated with the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) this year – work on artifacts and ordnance recovery from CSS Georgia; the first dike raising; the raw water storage impoundment; the sediment basin tide gate removal; and the dissolved oxygen injection system.
Archaeologists and Navy divers spent much of 2015 surveying and recovering thousands of artifacts and inerting 241 pieces of ordnance around the CSS Georgia. Texas A&M University’s Conservation Research Laboratory is working on conservation of the recovered artifacts. This summer the two remaining castmate sections will be recovered.
Herve Cody Construction has completed nearly 60 percent of the dike raising contract. When finished the dike at Dredged Material Containment Area 14A will have been raised five feet in preparation to receive the dredged material from the inner harbor. Spencer Davis Corps SHEP project manager said the dike raising is estimated to be completed by June 2017.
Nearly 60 percent of the Raw Water Storage Impoundment is expected to be finished this summer. The 97 million-gallon reservoir will provide an additional source of freshwater in rare cases when low river flows and unusually high tides reduce the quality of available water near Abercorn Creek.
Contractor DeMoya/Continental Joint Venture has completed 32 percent of the project to remove the 1970s-era tidegate structure with its abutments and return the Back River to its original width. The structure was originally constructed to reduce shoaling in the Savannah River’s main channel. This feature is expected to be completed by December 2017.
Work continues at two sites on the Savannah River for the Dissolved Oxygen Injection System. In December 2016 CDM Constructors Inc. received the 12 Speece cones for the system four of which will be placed at the downriver site on Hutchinson Island and the remaining eight will be placed at the upriver site near Plant McIntosh in Rincon Georgia.
The system forces oxygen into river water to ensure current levels of dissolved oxygen are maintained before the shipping channel is deepened. The project is currently 25 percent complete. When it’s finished which is projected for December 2017 the system will process about 150 million gallons of water per day.
As part of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) DeMoya/Continental Joint Venture has completed about 30 percent of the project to remove the tidegate structure and abutments returning the Back River to its original width. It was originally constructed to reduce shoaling in the main channel.
CORPS CONTINUES PUBLIC PROCESS FOR MOBILE HARBOR SEIS DEVELOPMENT AND PROJECT EVALUATION
In March the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers updated its Public Involvement Management Strategy (PIMS) to support the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Mobile Harbor General Reevaluation Report (GRR) which will evaluate the proposed widening and deepening of the federal Mobile Harbor navigation channel in Alabama.
The purpose of the PIMS the Corps said is to outline an “effective and proactive outreach strategy to engage the project stakeholders in the planning process.”
In 1986 Congress authorized various modifications to the Mobile Harbor including deepening and widening the majority of the channel to 55 feet deep and 550 feet wide. Since that time the majority of the channel was enlarged to 45 feet deep and 400 feet wide.
In 2014 the Alabama State Port Authority requested that the Corps consider deepening and widening the existing Mobile Harbor Channel to its authorized dimensions.
In response to that request a General Reevaluation Report (GRR) is being prepared to determine the feasibility of widening and deepening the channel up to and including the authorized dimensions.
Public scoping meetings began March 16 and run approximately every four months. The next meetings are tentatively scheduled for July 25 and November 14. A public meeting for the draft SEIS will take place the summer of 2018.
The tentative project schedule outlined by the Corps includes deciding the Tentatively Selected Plan by March 2018 and have a signed Record of Decision by November/December 2019.
SENATOR CARPER MEETS WITH CORPS PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT LEADERSHIP
On April 27 Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) a top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee met with Lt. Col. Mike Bliss and Lt. Col. Kristen Dahle the outgoing and incoming Philadelphia District Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Port of Wilmington Delaware.
“Lieutenant Colonel Bliss led the Army Corps’ Philadelphia District in efforts to maintain our critical infrastructure shore up our coasts and fortify our waterways and I thank him for his service to our country and to Delaware. I would also like to welcome Lieutenant Colonel Dahle as she prepares to succeed Colonel Bliss in the coming months. I look forward to working with her on some of Delaware’s biggest engineering projects like the expansion of the Port of Wilmington and deepening of the Delaware River. Both of these projects will exponentially increase traffic at the Port of Wilmington and spur economic growth across the First State” Carper said.
Carter called the president’s proposal to cut the Corp’s budget by $1 billion “entirely irrational and would have grave effects in not only our state but in communities across the country.”
“I’ll continue to push back on this and other short-sighted budget cuts that harm our country’s transportation and water infrastructure. Instead we need to look for smart forward-looking ways to build a 21st century transportation system that supports a growing economy” Carter said.
MANSON AWARDED OCEANSIDE HARBOR MAINTENANCE CONTRACT
On April 17 Manson’s dredge HR Morris began annual maintenance work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District at Oceanside Harbor in California.
In March the Corps awarded a $3.7 million contract to Manson Construction for maintenance dredging at Oceanside Harbor. The project was scheduled for completion by May 26.
Manson will remove about 280000 cubic yards of sand from the harbor’s entrance channel for placement along Oceanside’s beaches. The annual project is designed to maintain a channel depth of 20 feet. Manson placed sand immediately south of the San Luis Rey River and locations between the river and the Oceanside Pier.
Manson has dredged Oceanside Harbor in the past.
The dredge HR Morris maintains position at the Oceanside Harbor entrance channel as the annual navigation project begins. The dredge pumps sediment from the channel in order to maintain the authorized federal channel depth with the added benefit of using the material to renourish Oceanside beaches. (Photo by Greg Fuderer U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)