Fight for Port Orford’s Failed Breakwater

Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio has just asked the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works to fully fund critical repairs to Port Orford’s failed breakwater after money for these necessary repairs was redirected by the Army Corps to address disaster recovery needs.

Storm damage, coupled with the fact that the channel and harbor lack annual dredging by the Corps, has created significant obstacles for the fishing community. Without annual dredging, shoals now prevent boats from accessing the ocean and launching except at high tide,” DeFazio said.

This shoaling has also increased wave impact along the dock wall, making launch and retrieval extremely dangerous. Because of the cost of dredging, boat damage, and limited launching caused by shoaling, the breakwater must be modified to alleviate the shoaling problem,” DeFazio added.

This breakwater modification and repair is vital to the Port of Port Orford. I request that you strongly consider including funding in the Corps FY18 Operations and Maintenance Work Plan to move forward on those repairs,” DeFazio said.

The Corps stated in its July 2014 breakwater inspection report that the role that the breakwater plays in encouraging sediment buildup should be evaluated prior to designing a repair of the structure.

Thanks to FY17 supplemental funding, the Corps was able to begin drafting plans and specs to repair the breakwater, but the port has recently been told that there is no further funding currently available to move forward with the repairs.

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