The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ contractor began annual maintenance dredging of the federal navigation channel in Grays Harbor Inner Harbor Sunday, January 17, 2016.
Tacoma-based American Construction Co., is contracted for $4 million to dredge up to 475,000 cubic yards of material in the inner harbor near Aberdeen, Wash., working through 14 February 2016.
American’s Patriot dredge will place material at the existing South Jetty nourishment site and Washington State Department of Natural Resources-managed Point Chehalis open water disposal site.
Inner harbor dredging is confined to the currently maintained -36 feet mean lower low water (MLLW) depth. As part of the Grays Harbor Navigation Improvement Project, a contract to dredge to the fully authorized -38 feet MLLW, is currently being developed.
According to the Corps, the next round of dredging operations, including the authorized additional two feet, should start in October in the vicinity of South Reach upstream to Cow Point Reach where the Port of Grays Harbor Terminal 4 is located.
The channel requires annual dredging to allow shipping from the Pacific Ocean to the navigation channel head at Cosmopolis, Wash. Shoaling, sedimentation filling in the channel, reduces the ability of ships to enter and leave safely under full load or during low tide conditions.