Corps Offers Update on NY Harbor 50 Foot Deepening Project (USA)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are improving the main shipping channels in the Port by deepening them to a depth of 50 feet, allowing more efficient access to the world’s largest oceangoing ships.
In January 2013, the Corps awarded the final major 50 foot deepening contract, which is primarily focused on the remaining 50’ channel work for the Arthur Kill. To remove the underlying bedrock in the channel, this contract involves precision controlled underwater staggered detonations to fracture the rock so it can be dredged.
The contract involves dredging work in the Arthur Kill between Elizabeth NJ and the New York Container Terminal, NY; the Elizabeth Channel, NJ; the western 1,000 ft. of the Port Elizabeth Channel; and a small approximately two acre area in the Kill Van Kull Channel off of Collins Park, Bayonne NJ to ease a navigational bend in the channel. (Contract area map is attached).
Drilling and underwater blasting will commence in the waters by the New York Container Terminal no earlier than July 2013 and in the western Port Elizabeth Channel no earlier than April 2013. Drilling and underwater blasting off of Collins Park, Bayonne, New Jersey is expected to commence in May 2013 for approximately five to 10 days.
Residents of the New Jersey communities of Elizabeth and Bayonne within the 1500 foot blast zone were notified during the week of March 11 in writing by the contractor. The Army Corps anticipates that drilling and blasting work on this contract will not affect the communities of Staten Island, N.Y.
“This 50 foot contract is part of a more extensive harbor-dredging project to create safe and efficient channels for a larger class of vessels that will be calling at the Port of New York and New Jersey,” said Bryce Wisemiller, Project Manager. “The Army Corps is committed to a timely completion of navigation improvements within the harbor while minimizing any adverse affects that this temporary construction may have on the surrounding residential communities.”
While drilling may be performed intermittently, blasting operations will only occur during daylight hours (no earlier than two hours after sunrise and no later than one hour before sunset). Also, blasting will not be performed before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. or on Sundays and Federal Holidays.The larger generation of container ships will save transportation costs for consumer products arriving from overseas, and are more environmentally friendly sporting more fuel-efficient engines while equipped with the latest technologies in air emission control systems.
The Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest port on the East Coast, providing over 269,900 direct and indirect jobs in port related activities. Through the Port’s four major container terminals waterborne cargo moves to all parts of the United States and throughout the world.
The overall Harbor Deepening Project involves deepening nearly 38 miles of shipping channels between New York and New Jersey to bring them to a safe depth of 50 feet. The 50 foot deepening project is scheduled for completion in 2014.
Press Release, April 1, 2013