USA: Cook Inlet Dredging Plan Introduced

Cook Inlet Dredging Plan Introduced

In accordance with FAR FAR 6.302-1(a)(2)(iii) – the action being approved is a modification to Firm-Fixed Price Contract W911KB-12-C-0004 with Manson Construction Company for the dredging of the Cook Inlet Navigation Channel on days when they are in a stand-by status and not performing maintenance dredging at the Port of Anchorage.

The estimated dollar value of the proposed action is $3.5M. The Scope of Work (SOW) for the proposed Cook Inlet dredging modificaiton includes the completion of nine surveys required for dredging activities and dredging of 675,000 CY of material from the Cook Inlet Navigation channel. The current value of the Port of Anchorage dredging project is $15.4M.

The Cook Inlet Navigation Channel is approximately 6 miles from the Port of Anchorage, and was constructed to provide safe passage through Knik Arm Shoal to the Port. This channel is the only USCG marked route for all cargo and fuel ships supplying the Port of Anchorage, which is the sole distribution point for 90% of the goods consumed by 595,000 of the 700,000 people that live in Alaska. Additionally the Port of Anchorage is one of 19 commercial ports around the nation designated as a Department of Defense Strategic Seaport. This designation recognized the port’s vital role supporting overseas deployments, fuel for Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, vehicle transportation and goods used in the day-to-day business and commissaries by the 55,000 military and family members in Alaska.

Since the original dredging of the channel in 2000, no maintenance dredging has been required; however, there has been a sudden surge in shoal material in the channel over the last two years. In 2012 the condition survey found shoal material 10 feet above an acceptable and safe depth, which has reduced the channel usability by 50% and required shippers and their pilots to take extraordinary measures to avoid running aground while navigating through the channel. Without action, the continued shoaling will require shippers and their pilots to take even more challenging maneuvers while moving through the channel and possibly close the navigation channel to current shipping activity in the near future.

The Cook Inlet Navigation Channel is scheduled to be dredged in the Spring of 2013 by the Government dredge ESSAYONS, but its schedule will only allow time for removal of about 25 percent of the available material.

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Source: fbo.gov, February 14, 2013

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