As part of the outer harbor dredging portion of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, the Dredge Illinois was recently repositioned off Cockspur Island in the main navigation channel of the Savannah River.
Dredged material is being placed on Jones-Oysterbed Island.
When working further from land, cutter head dredges like the Illinois use a spider barge and scow vessels to remove the dredged material.
The dredge pumps material to the spider barge via a floating pipe. The spider barge distributes the material into the scows and tug boats tow the scows to an EPA-designated disposal site, where the material is deposited.
The Outer Harbor Dredging contract worth $134.5 million was awarded to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company of Oak Brook, Illinois. The contract covers extending the entrance channel by 7 miles, and deepening of the outer harbor from approximately Fort Pulaski for 18.5 miles into the Atlantic Ocean.
Dredging the outer harbor, which is nearly 30 percent complete, is the first step to deepening the entire 40-mile shipping channel and harbor from deep ocean to the Georgia Ports Authority terminal in Garden City.