The Lake Worth Inlet emergency maintenance dredging project began yesterday, October 21st, right after the contracted dredging vessel arrived at the scene. The vessel will perform 24-hour continuous dredging to address “severe shoaling” in the Inlet.
Lake Worth Inlet connects Palm Beach Harbor to the Atlantic Ocean. The Port of Palm Beach is the fourth busiest container port in Florida and the eighteenth busiest in the continental United States.
The Inlet has experienced severe shoaling over the past several weeks, and the Palm Beach Pilots’ Association has implemented draft restrictions as low as 25’ of depth to vessels calling on the Port of Palm Beach.
“Recognizing this critical issue for the Port of Palm Beach and its users, Port staff swiftly and diligently worked directly with the Palm Beach Pilots’ Association, the Army Corps of Engineers and the towns of Palm Beach and Palm Beach Shores to secure the dredge to bring the Inlet closer to its -33’MLW advertised depth,” Manuel Almira, Director of the Port of Palm Beach said in a letter that was sent to Port of Palm Beach tenants and users.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this emergency maintenance dredging should sustain an unrestrictive depth until the regularly-scheduled annual dredge that is expected to begin in early 2015.
“It is to the credit of a quick-thinking and collaborative effort between Port staff and our local and federal partners that we will be able to successfully achieve this much-needed emergency maintenance,” Almira said.
Dredging Today Staff