Posted June 23, 2020
COOS BAY — American Construction Company has been contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform maintenance dredging in the Coos Bay harbor from river miles 12 to 15 beginning on or around July 1.
According to a press release from the International Port of Coos Bay, dredging was also conducted in this section of the Federal Navigation Channel throughout the summer of 2019. This section of the Upper Bay spans from the Oregon Chip Terminal to the Georgia Pacific Sawmill site. Prior to the dredging work that took place in 2019, this section of the channel had not been dredged since 2010.
Maintenance dredging work will be performed continuously, 24 hours per day and 7 days per week, and is scheduled to be completed Oct. 31, 2020, stated the press release. It is estimated that approximately 1 million cubic yards of material will be removed from the channel and placed offshore at Ocean Disposal Site H. American Construction Company will utilize the clamshell dredge “The Patriot” to load two split hull scows, the “Liberty” and the “Freedom." The scows will be towed by Pacific Tug Company to the offshore material placement site.
"During the dredging project, mariners are urged to use extreme caution when navigating in the Upper Bay this summer," a Port representative said. "At the dredge site, mariners are encouraged to transit at their slowest safe speed to minimize wake, and to proceed with caution after passing arrangements have been made."
The Coos Bay Federal Navigation Channel is 15.1 miles long from the mouth of the bay to its furthest reach. The authorized depth of the channel is currently -37 feet Mean Lowest Low Water (MLLW), and its authorized nominal width is 300 feet.
"This project is critical to ensuring that deep draft vessels can transit throughout the harbor, a major component of our local and regional economies," stated the Port.
Regular maintenance dredging improves safety and strengthens the local economy. As the non-federal sponsor of the channel, the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay holds the Unified Dredging Permit for terminals along the navigation channel that depend on the waterway for maritime commerce. The Unified Permit allows terminals to dredge at the dock face in areas outside of the Federal Navigation Channel, allowing vessels to berth safely and efficiently.