Posted on June 29, 2022
The Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) began dredging the Rogue River at Gold Beach, typically an annual project, for the first time in a few years.
The contractor — American Construction — began work on June 1 and will continue into late September.
Excessive sediment buildup at the river entrance and severe weather constraints prevented safe access for dredging in 2020 and 2021, so this work is more critical than ever and a long time coming.
This dredging is expected to remove up to 200,000 cu. yds. of material — enough to fill roughly 20,000 large dump trucks — and is essential to the viability of this coastal port for a few major reasons.
This is a harbor of safe refuge. It offers vessel operators shelter from heavy seas in the event of a storm off the coast.
Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard operates a seasonal station here. Their critical mission depends on the safe navigation of the channel.
The local tourism and recreation industry counts on this harbor, which sees more than 4,500 recreation-related bar crossings each year. That translates to approximately $4 million annually.
Army officials announced a $5.3 million contract award for dredging the Rogue River at Gold Beach, Ore., in March 2022.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) maintains navigation channels along the Oregon coast and dredging is an important component of keeping the Rogue River Harbor open for recreational vessels, including jet boats, fishing guides and sport fishermen.
“Annual maintenance dredging is critical for Gold Beach access,” said Greg Speer, Oregon Coast project manager. “We understand this can have impacts to the fishing industry, so we want to communicate as early as possible that this dredging will be happening this year.
“It’s important for everyone to recognize the need for dredging,” he added. “As we plan this project, it’s also important for us to communicate with Rogue River users so we can minimize impacts to them, while ensuring safe dredge operations.
Rogue River dredging at Gold Beach usually occurs on an annual basis for the entrance channel; however, the Corps’ Dredge YAQUINA hasn’t been able to dredge for a few years. Excessive infill of sediment at the entrance has prevented safe access for this large vessel.
American Construction also will dredge a gravel bar to help reduce the material that blocks the entrance to the boat basin. The contractor will place the material it removes from this project in the Corps’ ocean disposal site, off-shore.