Port of Long Beach Dredging Work in Progress (USA)

City, port and army folks joined together on Pier F at the Port of Long Beach on a gray Tuesday morning last week to celebrate the movement of mud from the bottom of the Port of Long Beach main channel to an empty slip at the ITS terminal on Pier G. Although the ceremony officially launched the $40 million project, the actual work by Manson Construction Co. has been going on for weeks.

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said deepening the channel is one piece of a decade-long plan to make the port more competitive. He conceded that some customers may have taken their business elsewhere over the past few months, but said the port is determined to get them back.

“We’re trying to send a message to those customers,” he told reporters and others gathered for the ceremony. “We want that discretionary cargo. This is a visual demonstration of what we are doing to make ourselves more competitive.”

The dredging work is expected to generate about 180 jobs, but Foster said that the $3 billion the port plans to spend on capital improvements over the next decade is expected to provide work for 50,000 people.

The job – which combined several dredging locations into one contract – will deepen the turning basin south of the BP oil terminal at Pier T to 76 feet – the same depth as the main channel. That will allow oil tankers to come in fully loaded rather than having to unload some of their oil outside the breakwater. The result will be increased efficiency and a decreased chance of a spill.

A deeper turning basin also allows the tanker to turn safely in the inner basin. Tankers are required to point toward the ocean when they dock in order to quickly leave berth in case of an emergency.

The electric-powered dredge removed sediments that had accumulated at the Catalina Ferry Terminal at the mouth of the Los Angeles River and contaminated sediments left over from Navy operations in the West Basin area. The fill material will be capped and contained in a 12-acre portion of the ITS Pier G slip. The new land will be used for expansion of the terminal’s ondock railyard.

Col. Thomas Magness, who heads the Los Angeles District command for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said projects such as the Long Beach channel deepening is “why we exist.” He noted that the first job the Army Corps did in the Los Angeles area was in 1898, when it began work on the federal breakwater.

Magness, who took command of the L.A. District three years ago, will turn over his post to Col. Mark Toy on July 1. On July 5, Magness will ship out to his new assignment as commander of the Afghanistan North District near Kabul.


Source: cunninghamreport, June 14, 2010;