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Port Channel Deepening Slated for Fall, to Finish in 2018

Posted on March 10, 2016

The work on deepening the Port of Grays Harbor’s navigation channel has secured federal funding and is expected to begin sometime this fall, officials said at the Port’s Tuesday meeting.

Federal funding will provide $15 million for the project, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Branch Chief Jessica Winkler told Port officials.

The Port will contribute 25 percent of the overall cost of the project.

A project to deepen the Port’s channel to the fully authorized depth of -38 feet came in 1986, when work began to deepen the channel to -36 feet. That work was finished in 1991. The plan to deepen by another two feet has been in the works since 2007.

The deeper draft will allow vessels to load more cargo, leading to more efficient use of the waterway, officials said.

The project, Winkler told officials, will begin at the channel’s south reach, which lies just south of Damon Point, according to a map in Winkler’s presentation. It will then extend east toward the Harbor and stop at Cow Point, just behind Home Depot.

The Army Corps will begin dredging the outer Harbor on April 1, Winkler said. The contract for the inner Harbor dredging — which includes the deepening dredging — is expected to be awarded in May, with work starting in the fall and expected to be completed in 2018.

The exact start date, Winkler added, would be up to the contractor.

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