The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has announced award of the first Jacksonville Harbor Deepening contract to the Dutra Group of San Rafael, Calif.
The Corps awarded the contract late yesterday in the amount of $22,826,400.
Contract “A” is the first of multiple construction contracts that will deepen the existing Federal navigation channel, from its current authorized depth of 40 feet to 47 feet.
“This award is a key milestone for an important project that improves port infrastructure so vital to our economy,” said Col. Jason A. Kirk, commander of the Corps’ Jacksonville District. “Award of this project helps ensure the nation’s infrastructure stays strong, bolsters global competitiveness and creates jobs,” he said.
Today, the largest ships calling on Jacksonville’s port must arrive and depart lightly loaded, making them shallow draft enough to navigate the current 40-foot channel depth. This means that cargo volumes that should move through Jacksonville as the most cost effective route to market are diverted to other ports with the capacity to handle deeper draft ships.
“A deeper and wider navigation channel will allow vessels to move cargo more efficiently and cost effectively,” Project Manager Jason Harrah said. “Our dedicated technical team of engineers and scientists from the Corps, other federal and state agencies, and professional engineering firms have been hard at work during the past year, including collecting baseline environmental data and surveys, and we’re ready to start construction with this contract award,” he said.
Contract A includes dredging about three-million cubic yards of material from the entrance channel (Bar Cut-3) to slightly west of the Mayport Ferry (Cut-7). This work does not involve blasting.
According to the Corps, the contractor will transport the excavated material and place it in the Jacksonville Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site located about six miles southeast of the entrance channel jetties.
In addition to dredging, the work involves turbidity/sedimentation monitoring (pre- and during construction environmental monitoring for direct and indirect effects associated with construction activities), endangered species and marine life observers.
Construction is expected to start in December and the estimated construction duration is roughly two years.
In accordance with the executed project partnership agreement, the total cost of the authorized project is $704.5 million; the federal share is $337.8 million and the non-federal share is $366.7 million.