Below is the press release sent out on September 4th. As an update to the initial press release, the dredging project has begun, starting at the south entrance to of the Swinomish Channel.
You’ll need to be careful going around the operation; the channel will remain open during dredging and the American Construction Company folks will do their best to help you get around them safely. We’ll keep you posted here with updates and navigation notes. If you are a large boat, hailing the dredging operator via radio will alert them to your location and need to pass by.
Sept. 4, 2012:
Dredging of the Swinomish Channel should start later this month, after The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract for the work on Aug. 28.
American Construction Co. Inc., of Tacoma, won the contract for the job with a low bid of $1,884,000, according to the Federal Business Opportunities web site. The contract calls for the contractor to perform maintenance clamshell dredging of approximately 200,000 cubic yards of sediment from the Swinomish Navigation Channel. All dredged material will be disposed at either the Port Gardner or Rosario PSDDA open-water disposal sites. The job is expected to take 150 days to complete, a Corps spokesman said.
Funding for the Swinomish Channel dredging was included in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ work plan for fiscal year 2012. The channel, first dredged more than a century ago, is overdue for dredging. Due to heavy sedimentation, the channel must be dredged at least every three years to maintain navigable depths for commercial and recreational vessels. It is authorized to a depth of -12 feet MLLW. The last partial dredging took place in 2008.
The Port of Skagit has led efforts to keep the Swinomish Channel open since dedicated federal funding for dredging the channel was eliminated in the mid-1990s.
The Port of Skagit Swinomish Channel Watch section of their website has more information on the dredging project.