Kennebec River Dredging Project up for Comment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, is seeking comments for the proposed maintenance dredging of the lower Kennebec River.

According to the announcement, USACE calls for emergency maintenance dredging of portions of the Federal navigation project in the lower Kennebec River, between Phippsburg and Bath, Maine.

The emergency dredging is needed to provide safe passage of the USS Rafael Peralta, a United States Navy Destroyer scheduled to transit the channel on or about April 27, 2017.

The Corps reported that recent hydrographic surveys of the Doubling Point and Popham Beach areas indicate that the channel has shoaled to -18.4 feet below Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) across almost the entire 500 feet wide channel at Doubling Point and to -16.7 feet below MLLW across more than half the authorized channel near Popham Beach.

The aim of this dredging campaign is restore the channel to its authorized dimensions and provide safe operating depths for the USS Rafael Peralta and subsequent future transits by other vessels of this type.

USACE plan calls for a hopper dredge to remove about 70,000 cubic yards (cy) of clean sand. Approximately 50,000 cy of material will be removed from the Doubling Point area and approximately 20,000 cy of material will be removed from the Popham Beach area.

The deadline for sending comments on the proposed work is March 28, 2017.