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USACE Corps Awards Dredge Contract to Cottrell Contracting dredge Lower Wicomico River

Posted on September 29, 2022

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District, has awarded a $13.5 million contract to Cottrell Contracting Corp., a Small Business out of Chesapeake, Virginia, for maintenance dredging for the Lower Wicomico River, located in both Wicomico and Somerset counties.

The project – in coordination with Wicomico County, the non-federal sponsor – consists of dredging approximately 120,000 cubic yards of material from the federal navigation channel, to its authorized depth of 14 feet.

All dredged material will be removed via hydraulic cutterhead dredge and transported via pipeline to Deal Island Wildlife Management Area, owned by Maryland Department of Natural Resources, to restore approximately 70 acres of wetlands showing heavy signs of degradation and fragmentation.

The material, comprising of mostly silt and sand, will be beneficially placed for wetland restoration meant to increase migratory bird nesting habitat. Deal Island supports one of the largest concentrations in the state of herons, egrets and ibis, and also hosts one of Maryland’s only breeding population of black-necked stilts.

“We are excited to move one step closer to the execution of this restoration endeavor,” said Danielle Szimanski, USACE, Wicomico River project manager. “This project will contribute to protecting environmental habitat and expanding public access within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, while also continuing maintenance dredging to ensure vessels can continue safely carrying fuel, materials, and agricultural supplies to and from Eastern Shore communities. We’re proud to partner with Wicomico County on this effort and look forward to beginning dredging in the near future.”

The Port of Salisbury is the second-highest commercial port in Maryland, consisting primarily of petroleum products and grain. Safe barge passage is crucial to maintaining adequate fuel supplies for the Delmarva Peninsula.

Crews are expected to mobilize before the end of 2022, and the work is anticipated to take approximately two years to complete.

This project is part of the Baltimore District’s Navigation program, which includes operation and maintenance of more than 290 miles of federal navigable channels within the Susquehanna River watershed.  This work includes dredging, employing cutting-edge technology to conduct underwater surveys, and applying a fleet of debris removal vessels to clear floating hazards out of the federal channels in the Baltimore Harbor and Potomac and Anacostia rivers.

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