The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, awarded a contract in the amount $3,405,500 to Weeks Marine Inc. for maintenance dredging of the Brownsville Harbor Entrance Channel in Cameron County, Texas.
The Texas General Land Office and City of South Padre Island partnered with the USACE Galveston District to contribute approximately $1.5 million in a non-federal cost-share initiative to beneficially use dredged material originating from the Brownsville Harbor navigation channel to renourish approximately half a mile of shoreline with beach-quality sand harvested from the dredging process.
“The USACE Galveston District contributes to the well-being, economic success and quality of life of local communities by employing environmentally and economically responsible ways to use dredged materials to improve eroded coastlines through beach renourishment,” said Navigation Branch Chief Christopher Frabotta, USACE Galveston District. “While performing one of our primary missions of maintaining safe waterways for commercial traffic, we’re able to work with our partners to ensure environmentally sound dredging and placement of the material.”
The contractor is required to remove an estimated 350,000 cubic yards of shoal material from the channel using a large ocean-going hopper dredge. The hopper dredge will then sail to the vicinity of the shoreline to pump sand onto the beach.
“This is the first time we’ve used a hopper dredge with pump-out capability in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Project Operations Manager Alicia Rea, USACE Galveston District. “In an effort to reduce project operations costs, a more competitive solicitation was developed to allow contractors to bid either using a hopper or pipeline dredge.”
According to Rea, work is scheduled to begin in November and is estimated to be completed by mid-December. All work must be completed prior to March 1, 2013, in time for nesting sea turtles.
Press Release, October 2, 2012