Cheesequake Creek dredging contract awarded

New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. announced yesterday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded a contract for the dredging of Cheesequake Creek.

Work is expected to begin as early as August and take one month to complete.

In February, Pallone announced securing the $4.1 million in federal funding necessary for the project.

“This is great news and another step in the right direction to improve the ability of boaters to access and enjoy Cheesequake Creek and the Raritan Bay,” said Congressman Pallone. “Efficient and safe waterways are critical for New Jersey’s economy. The dredging will make sure that the marinas, boaters, and the fishing industry can operate effectively.”

Cheesequake Creek is a shallow-draft recreational channel between Sayreville and Old Bridge that serves as an inlet from the Raritan Bay for hundreds of recreational vessels that utilize the five marinas on the creek.

In recent years, sediment deposition in the creek has dramatically increased, impacting navigation, safety, and overall usage of the channel. The problem was exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, resulting in large amounts of sediment being deposited in the waterway and further impacting its depth.

This project will be the first maintenance dredging in three decades. The last maintenance dredging of the Cheesequake Creek was performed in 1989 by the state of New Jersey, but no further maintenance has been performed since then.

According to USACE, approximately 10,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel will be dredged to fully restore the authorized 5-foot-deep Federal navigation channel.

Photo: NJDoT