Christie Administration Sets Forth State Channel Dredging Program (USA)
New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials announced the start of a multi-year, multi-million dollar State Channel Dredging Program that will begin to return New Jersey’s waterways affected by Superstorm Sandy to a state of good repair.
“Our state channels are vital waterways that are used by recreational boaters and commercial fisherman,” NJDOT Commissioner James S. Simpson said. “Providing safe navigation channels will have a positive economic impact on small businesses such as marinas, bait and tackle shops, and charter companies, as well as New Jersey’s seafood industry.”
This project will remove approximately 36,000 cubic yards of Sandy-related sediment.
Work on an adjacent Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) is expected to begin in May.
Dredging is anticipated to start in June.
Typically the state would not dredge in the summer, but the new program features an aggressive schedule to maximize efforts during periods of favorable dredging conditions to alleviate hazards to boaters and commercial vessels. Efforts will be made to ensure work does not unnecessarily impede navigation.
Over the next few months, NJDOT expects to open bids for the dredging of St. Georges Thorofare (Atlantic County), Cape May Harbor and Middle Thorofare (Cape May County), and Double Creek, Double Creek – Mainland, and Barnegat Light Stake Channels in Barnegat Bay (Ocean County). These projects will remove both Sandy-related sediment and pre-storm sediment to alleviate hazards to navigation and return these channels to a state of good repair. In Cape May, the Middle Thorofare project will ensure New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry is able to safely access berths that support the New Jersey seafood industry.
Asset Management Strategies
The State Channel Dredging Program will feature asset management strategies similar to those used by the Department to guide investments in other classes of assets, such as highways and bridges.
This approach ensures the best use of limited resources and will consider such factors as the availability of dredge material management options, channel usage and associated economic value, the level of siltation in the channel, navigational safety, Sandy-related impacts to a channel and the related eligibility for FEMA reimbursement.
Funding for this program will come from State Transportation Trust Funds and federal sources.
All of these projects are intended to receive some amount of FEMA reimbursement.
Press Release, March 26, 2014