USA: Cape Coral Canals Dredging Under Way

One of Cape Coral’s Model 5012 LP Versi-Dredge systems performing canal maintenance

Dredging has begun in two Cape Coral canals to make the waterways more navigable to boaters. The dredging is part of a continuous effort to keep the city’s more than 400 miles of canals free from silt and debris, said Jay Saxena, Storm Water Division manager.

The dredging began last week in the Maraudeur and Gloriana canals along Cape Coral Parkway between Chiquita and Skyline boulevards. The bottoms of the canals have become filled with silt washed in by tides from the Caloosahatchee River, Saxena said.

That made the canals harder for boaters to navigate, he said.

The dredging will take three to six months. During the project, the canals will be closed from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. They will be open to regular boat traffic on Fridays and weekends.

More than half of Lee County’s 50,000 registered boats are in Cape Coral, according to state statistics. Many times, boaters will call to notify water management officials that they have a hard time getting their craft in and out of the canals, said Joan Church, a member of the Cape Coral Power Squadron.

The city, she said, is good about responding to the concerns.

“They dredged the Honolulu canal that we use two years ago,” Church said.

The Maraudeur and Gloriana canals are being dredged to a depth of 5 feet below the mean low tide mark, Saxena said.

The silt, which is a fine sugar sand, is pumped out by the dredges and carried in trucks to designated sites in the city, Saxena said. The silt is then used as fill material for city projects.

Besides sand, a host of discarded trash and junk are hauled out of canals during dredging projects because some people use the waterways for garbage dumps, Saxena said.

“We’ve found engine blocks, shopping carts, you name it,” Saxena said.

This material is also hazardous to boaters, he said.

[mappress]

Source: news-press, June 1, 2010;

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