The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, began urgent maintenance dredging last week at the Freeport Harbor by using the government-owned trailing suction hopper dredge WHEELER.
The 45-day project will include removal of approximately two million cubic yards of dredged material from the Freeport Entrance Channel, jetty channel and inner harbor, followed by an additional eight days of critical maintenance dredging at the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.
“The ports of Corpus Christi and Freeport are ran”ked 7th and 31st in the nation, respectively, with regards to commercial tonnage,” said Army Capt. Robert Burnham, a project operations manager with the USACE Galveston District’s Navigation Branch. “These economic values, coupled with the fact that these are two very fast shoaling ports, means that maintaining the federally authorized depths are paramount.”
According to Burnham, the Corps is expected to remove approximately 400,000 cubic yards at the Corpus Christi Entrance Channel.
The dredge WHEELER is owned and operated by the Corps, with its homeport being New Orleans.