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Dredging begins at Gold Beach this week; $5.3 mm contract for American Dredging

Posted on June 6, 2022

Army officials recently announced a $5.3 million contract award for dredging the Rogue River at Gold Beach. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 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.

Corps staff anticipates starting dredging June 1 with work continuing through October, depending on weather.

“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.”

American Construction won the bid and will be doing all dredging in this area this year.

“It’s important for everyone to recognize the need for dredging. 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,” Speer said.

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 will also dredge a gravel bar to help reduce the material that blocks the entrance to the boat basin. The Corps anticipates removing up to 200,000 cubic yards of material. To help paint the picture of what this volume equates to, that amount would fill roughly 20,000 large dump trucks. The contractor will place the material it removes from this project in the Corps’ ocean disposal site, off-shore.

Curry County Commissioner Court Boice said the news was welcome in Curry County.

“A welcome sight it will be when the dredge soon arrives,” Boice said. “I’ve lived in Curry County my entire life. I remember as a youngster soon after the two jetties were completed. I also remember how incredibly dangerous the Pacific Ocean-Rogue River Bar Crossing has always been. We’ve had many lives lost in failed attempts to navigate safely. All federal funding, work and progress will hopefully now start us on the path to positive corrections. I appreciate the commitment from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Senators Wyden, Merkley and Representative DeFazio. All efforts are vital as we move forward.”

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