The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District has awarded the first construction contract for the Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening Project.
The $47 million contract was awarded to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC. The contract is for new work and maintenance dredging of approximately six million cubic yards of material from the Entrance Channel in order to achieve the newly authorized depth of 54 feet.
The dredged material will be placed in the Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site offshore.
“We’re very excited to have awarded the first contract for dredging that will start deepening Charleston Harbor,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Palazzini, district commander. “The Charleston District team has been diligently working on this locally-, regionally- and nationally-important project with the South Carolina Ports Authority since well-before I took command, so I’m proud to see their hard work come to fruition.”
Jim Newsome, South Carolina Ports Authority president and CEO commented, “The first dredging contract awarded for harbor deepening is outstanding news for SCPA and the State of South Carolina. Our harbor will ultimately be the deepest on the East Coast, allowing vessels like the Roosevelt to transit without tidal restriction.”
It is anticipated that hopper dredges will be utilized for construction under this contract and all dredging work under this contract is required to be completed by spring 2020. Due to the presence of threatened and endangered species, hopper dredge operations are restricted to an environmental dredging window, generally from December to March each year.
This is the first of two contracts that will be required to complete the deepening of the Entrance Channel. The second contract will likely be awarded before the end of the calendar year.
Depending on full-funding, dredge availability, weather and a variety of other factors, the construction of the entire project will take 40-76 months. A timeline for the dredging of the upper and lower harbors has not yet been finalized, but is planned to take place concurrently during a portion of the timeframe required to complete the Entrance Channel.