The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District awarded few days ago a $11.5 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company for routine maintenance dredging of the Galveston inner and outer bar, entrance channel and extended entrance channel as well as the Houston Ship Channel between Bolivar Road and Redfish Island.
According to USACE, approximately 725,000 cubic yards of sand material dredged from the Galveston inner and outer bars may be placed beneficially onto the adjacent shoreline of Galveston Beach starting at the 61st Street Pier working westward, as part of a contract option requested by the Galveston Park Board of Trustees and Texas General Land Office.
Dredged material will be placed in Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site Number One, approximately five miles offshore
“While undertaking its mission of keeping America’s waterways navigable, the Corps is able to turn that into an added benefit for the community by placing dredged material (sand) on the Galveston Beach for tourists and residents to enjoy,” said Tricia Campbell, an operations manager with the USACE Galveston District.
According to Campbell, since the Corps must dispose of dredged material in the most cost effective manner, the Texas General Land Office and Galveston Park Board of Trustees will finance the incremental cost for placement of material beneficially along the seawall in lieu of placement in the ocean dredged material disposal site. The cost of this contract option is an additional $8,859,000.
“Beaches are essential for storm surge protection and have been important economic drivers for the tourism industry on the Island. This project is a significant milestone in the implementation of a 50 year sand management plan adopted by the Park Board of Trustees,” said Kelly de Schaun, executive director, Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees.
Dredging of the federal channel is expected to begin in early June using a hopper dredge with pump out capability and end by November 2015. The beneficial use project at the seawall is expected to begin approximately 60 days after the contractor begins work.