Jacksonville, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District announces the Tampa Harbor Maintenance Dredging contract award of $3,609,509.37 to Coastal Dredging Company, Inc., of Hammond, Louisiana. The Corps awarded the contract Sept. 22.
The work consists of maintenance dredging shoal material from two channels to return them to their authorized depths. It includes dredging the Alafia River channel and turning basin to 32 feet, and the Manatee Harbor entrance channel and turning basin to 40 feet.
“Managing sediment on a regional scale results in significant cost savings and environmental benefits, so we combined the two authorized projects,” Project Manager Brandon Burch said. Just mobilization of a dredger and other required equipment can cost upwards of $1 million per project.
The accumulation of sediment, commonly called shoaling, restricts navigation by reducing both channel width and depth. Minimum depths recorded from the channels are less than the authorized depths and are causing navigation restrictions for commercial vessels. Periodic dredging maintains the channels at their federally authorized depths for navigation purposes.
The maintenance will remove roughly 200,000 cubic yards of material in total. Coastal Dredging Company will place all material from the Alafia River dredging in a permitted disposal area located in Tampa Bay. They’ll excavate material from Manatee Harbor and place it in a designated upland disposal area. Contract work also includes turbidity monitoring, endangered species monitoring, and more.
The Corps anticipates construction will start in November and finish within six months. The dredge will operate 24 hours daily unless there are unforeseen delays such as weather or mechanical problems. The Corps asks boaters to use extra caution while traveling in the channels during dredging operations.
Jacksonville District has relocated millions of cubic yards of sand from Florida ports, inlets and waterways as part of its navigation program. This work provides significant aid to navigation and, when suitable, it also benefits local beaches with sand nourishment, providing important storm damage protection and restoring beach wildlife habitat.