Cape Cod Canal dredging project awarded to Illinois company

Project expected to begin in January 2016
Cape Cod Canal dredging will begin in January 2016. Maggie Kulbokas photo.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced this week that they have awarded Cape Cod Canal dredging project to an out-of-state company. According to a USACE release, the $5,899,400 project has been awarded to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC of Oak Brook, Illinois.

Under the terms of the contract, Great Lakes will perform all maintenance dredging and advance maintenance on the canal. Work on the expansive project is scheduled to begin in January 2016 and take between two and three months to complete. 

According to USACE New England District Project Manager Bill Kavanaugh, approximately 182,000 cubic yards of clean sand and gravel will be removed from six authorized areas. The authorized areas are in the 32-foot deep, 500-foot-wide main shipping channel and the 25-foot deep East Mooring Basin. "Shoaling in the main ship channel consists of large wave formations," Kavanaugh said. "These formations cause draft restrictions, tidal delays and hazardous conditions for deep-draft commercial vessels transiting the Canal."

The USACE announced the proposed dredging project in February. At the time, USACE representatives said if the canal was not dredged, it was likely larger vessels would have to avoid the canal and make the additional 135-mile, hazardous trip around the Cape. The Corps had also entered into talks with the Town of Sandwich about acquiring the clean sand from the dredge--and who would pay for it. 

The Corp said this week that the sand would be re-used on as beach-fill on the 2,500-foot eroded section of Sandwich's Town Neck Beach. The Town of Sandwich will pay $2,957,900 to have the fill placed directly on the beach via hydraulic dredge. 

The project will be overseen by a Corps quality assurance representative to ensure compliance with the contract, the release said. 


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