For at least the next couple months, crews will dig up a hefty amount of muck comprising mud, silt, sand, and shell from areas of the Baltimore harbor to expand the clearance for ships.
The exact amount of the muck is hard to visualize, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will come out to more than one million cubic yards. The corps awarded a $14.1 million contract last fall to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock of Oak Brook, Ill., to complete the dredging work.
The corps said in a release that the project would maintain safe navigation conditions for ships entering and leaving the Port of Baltimore.
“Maintaining the shipping channels associated with Baltimore Harbor is extremely important economically to the City of Baltimore, State of Maryland, and throughout our entire region,” said Col. Ed Chamberlayne of the Army Corps of Engineer’s Baltimore district, in the release.
Crews will be digging in three channel areas: Ferry Bar, located just southeast of Port Covington; Brewerton Angle, sandwiched between Hawkins Point and Sparrows Point; and Craighill Angle, just off the shore of Pasadena and Gibson Island.
The corps plans to reuse 540,000 cubic yards to be removed from Brewerton Angle at the Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Project at Poplar Island in the eastern side of Chesapeake Bay. They’ll also transfer 460,000 cubic yards of dredged material from Craighill Angle to the Cox Creek Dredge Material Containment Facility and around 73,000 cubic yards of material from Ferry Bar to a confined aquatic disposal cell next to Masonville Cove.
When the project is finished, Brewerton Angle and Craighill Angle will both be 51 feet deep and 700 feet wide, while Ferry Bar will be 42 feet deep and 600 feet wide. Work is expected to conclude in the spring.
The corps worked with the same Illinois-based company last year for a larger dredging project at both Brewerton Angle and Craighill Angle and the Fort McHenry and Seagirt channels.
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