Crews under contract to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, have begun dredging roughly 2.6 million cubic yards of material from the Baltimore Harbor and Channels navigation project under a $25.6 million contract awarded this past fall.
The objective is to ensure continued safe navigation in and out of the Port of Baltimore.
"Maintaining the shipping lanes in Baltimore Harbor and its bay channels is of critical importance to both the regional and national economy," said Baltimore District Commander Col. Ed Chamberlayne, who also formally serves as the Supervisor of the Harbor for Baltimore Harbor. "Whether it's vehicles, raw materials or other commodities, residents throughout the region and beyond benefit from the operations at the Port of Baltimore on a regular basis, and that's why we're committed to maintaining these channels."
The following channels will be dredged to their respective authorized dimensions, plus specified allowable overdepths ranging from one to two feet:
- Fort McHenry Channel to a depth of 51 feet and width of 700 feet (roughly 528,000 cubic yards)
- Seagirt Channel West to a depth of 42 feet and width of 500 feet (roughly 23,000 cubic yards)
- Brewerton Eastern Extension to a depth of 36 feet and width of 700 feet (roughly 1.47 million cubic yards)
- Craighill Entrance to a depth of 51 feet and width of 700 feet (roughly 610,000 cubic yards)
Approximately 2.63 million cubic yards of material consisting primarily of mud, silt, sand, shell and mixtures thereof is being removed from the channels as part of these maintenance operations. In coordination with the state of Maryland, the roughly 2.1 million cubic yards of material dredged from channels below the Key Bridge will be beneficially reused at the Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Project at Poplar Island located on the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay. Also in coordination with the state, the roughly 550,000 cubic yards of material dredged from channels above the Key Bridge will be placed at Cox Creek Dredged Material Containment Facility.
The work is being performed by two dredges and is expected to conclude this spring.