Charleston District FY14 Year in Review
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, has released a summary of project activities and accomplishments for Fiscal Year 14.
The Charleston District has a unique and varied program that grows larger every year. The programs include the Civil Works, Regulatory, Military, and International and Interagency Support (IIS) programs, serving a diverse group of customers not only in South Carolina but also globally.
Here are some of the accomplishments for FY 14:
– Charleston Lower Harbor, October 2013, 1.3 million cubic yards, $5.7 million,
– Joint Base & TC Dock, March 2014, 1.1 million cubic yards, $3.4 million,
– Charleston Entrance Channel, March 2014, 1.8 million cubic yards, $6.5 million,
– Charleston Lower Harbor Supplemental (includes anchorage basin and placement area maintenance), April 2014, 333,212 cubic yards, $3.3 million,
– Shem Creek, December 2013, 151,000 cubic yards, $946,400.
Charleston Harbor Post 45 Harbor Deepening Study
• Completed the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement. The Draft FR/EIS proposes a tentatively selected plan to deepen the major shipping channels within the harbor from 45 to 52 feet at an estimated cost of $509 million. The cost would be shared between the federal government and the South Carolina State Ports Authority at $166 million and $343 million, respectively,
• South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) will accept hard material from the entrance channel for habitat creation at the 25-acre Charleston near shore reef. Environmental staff is coordinating with SCDNR and other agencies as well as shrimpers to discuss issues related to creating two 33-acre patch reefs from limestone rock from the channel and six 33-acre solid fill reefs along the entrance channel. Cost estimates indicate a cost reduction of about $1 million.
• A successful Civil Works Review Board was held in March. The District and the sponsor, the Town of Edisto Beach, did an excellent job of briefing USACE Headquarters about the project, the recommended plan and why this project is important to the nation. A Chief’s Report was signed in September. Currently awaiting construction authorization and appropriations to begin the Preconstruction Engineering and Design Phase,
• In October 2013, the Corps held a public meeting in the Town of Edisto Beach to hear local concerns about whether or not certain groins will be extended as part of the storm damage reduction project.
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway
• Completed condition surveys of Little River to Bucksport, Winyah Bay to Charleston Harbor, and Charleston Harbor to Port Royal reaches.
• Completed condition surveys of Georgetown Harbor, Upper, Middle, and Lower Winyah Bay, and Georgetown Entrance Channel.
• Federal Interest Determination report was approved in May indicating approval to continue the Feasibility Study. The Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreement (FCSA) was executed with Dorchester County in August. The District began identifying and collecting initial data needs for the Feasibility Phase, including geospatial data, hydraulic data, environmental data, etc.
Cooper River Rediversion Project
• The upgrades to the CRRP Visitor Center at St. Stephen are complete. Nearly every facet of the experience changed – new videos, AV equipment, the ‘fish cam,’ floors, walls, seating, lighting, new artwork and displays, and road signage. The Corps will conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony before the fish lift season begins in the spring, but this upgrade is the first step. The goal is to continue upgrades to foster future work on STEM, hands-on learning experiences for the kids, lesson planning, and other opportunities,
• In May, participated in the regular St. Stephen Partnering Session with representatives from Santee Cooper and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Important topics discussed in the meeting included partnering initiatives on the fish lift, dam safety, aquatic plant control, and minimum lake level study. The event further strengthened the Corps relationships with the St. Stephen water resource partners,
- SCDNR’s South Carolina Wildlife Magazine highlighted the St. Stephen Fishlift as “One of the 12 places in SC that you have to visit” in its July/August calendar issue,
- Despite unusually cold water temperatures and a passage season shortened due to essential repairs, passed approximately 215,000 fish during the spring migration season,
- Replaced Unit 3 generator air housing cooling water piping during the September 2014 quadrennial maintenance outage at the St. Stephen Powerhouse,
- Hired two new powerhouse trainees.
Lake Marion Regional Water Project
• To date, 28 miles of the 75 total miles of water transmission lines have been completed. The contract for the Holly Hill to Harleyville Reach transmission line was awarded in September, which will add 6.6 miles to the system.
Fairfield County PAS
• The final report summarizing the analysis of the engineering, environmental, and economic feasibility of establishing a county-wide water supply system, and recommended options for augmenting the water system for the Town of Winnsboro, Fairfield County, SC, was provided to the customer in July. The final study cost was under budget at a total cost of $315,749.
• The Corps is assisting Lexington County by analyzing potential measures to address flood-related impacts in the Kinley Creek watershed, including conceptual level designs, cost estimates, benefits, potential impacts, and permitting requirements,
• The District initiated data collection, analysis of alternatives, assessment of environmental considerations, began coordinating with other agencies, and conducted property site inventory. The final study report will be completed in FY 15.
• Placed 1.4 million cubic yards of sand on 5.34 miles of Folly Beach to help provide protection against storm damage to people and property on Folly Beach. The $31.7 million project (with 15 percent cost-share from the City of Folly Beach) was executed by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC of Oakbrook, Ill,
• Corporate Communications held a media day on Dredge Alaska with ABC News 4 and the Post and Courier. Media day was a success and the story focused on “dredge life” with numerous employees of Great Lakes Dredge and Dock interviewed,
• The District held a stakeholders meeting, student STEM outreach event, and a public workshop in February. The Corps had a great turnout for each event with multiple media outlets reporting.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
• A new branch was established within the District called the Spatial Data Branch. It was created to perform practicable and innovative Geographic Information Systems (GIS) products and services to the customers. The Spatial Data Branch is composed of professional GIS System Administrators, Image and Remote Sensing Analysts, Cartographic Technicians, Spatial Asset Management Administrators and Spatial Model Builders. The core values are to focus on the customers by building partnerships and producing quality results,
• The Spatial Data Branch successfully executed a 4.2 million geospatial services contract. The contract has more than 50 positions to support the District’s mission. The contract has the ability to place a contractor at various sites to meet the Corps customers’ needs,
• After the GIS Team’s involvement with deploying ArcPortal services, the visibility of Charleston District project data internally and externally have greatly increased, and enabled us to streamline internal business processes. Feedback from local commercial mariners and the Pilots Association has been positive, and the District is able to understand and meet their specific data needs, in turn allowing them to increase efficiency within their organizations.