Residents of Barnstable County, Massachusetts waited patiently for the newly minted Sand Shifter Dredge to arrive. Well their wait is finally over. The brand new $2 million dredge built by Ellicott Dredges of Maryland has finally reached Falmouth Harbor. Everyone is really excited about the project. In fact, harbor officials are ready to unveil their brand new aquatic masterpiece to the general public.
The Sand Shifter to Undergo One Final Test
A team of representatives from Ellicott Dredges are performing preliminary tests this week. Our team is working around the clock to make sure that everything is in working order before turning possession of the dredge over to county officials.
“They (Ellicott) have been awesome to work with,” said interim Assistant County Administrator Stephen Tebo, while speaking to reporters last week. Tebo, explained the complex details of the work involved when constructing a custom-built dredge. The Sand Shifter is a one of kind vessel that requires immense attention to detail.
Why the Sand Shifter is Severely Needed
Falmouth Harbor was built in 1907, when an inlet was sliced in the barrier beach to separate freshwater Deacon’s Pond from Nantucket Sound. Falmouth Harbor an ideal fishing spot for the casual angler. However, because the port is used throughout the year, county commissioners voted to build a second dredge to pair with the Codfish. The Codfish, is an older Ellicott Series 670 Dragon dredge. Until recently it was the only dredge used to maintain Falmouth Harbor.
A second dredge is desperately needed because of the amount of work that occurs throughout the year. However, some projects can be potentially delayed on occasion causing work to backup. Initial plans include using both the Sand Shifter and Codfish to maintain Falmouth Harbor. For now, each dredge will be positioned on both sides of the harbor, That is unless business increases, and projects begin to pile up,
The Sand Shifter will see its first action in less than two weeks. Discussions have centered around using the vessel to help clean up the Eel River in the nearby Cape Cod area.
State of the Art Technology
Stephen Bradbury, captain of the Sand Shifter, applauded the dredge’s new features and advanced technology while taking a stroll along the vessel with reporters. “It’s a completely new design,” he said comparing it with its predecessor, the Codfish.
The Sand Shifter possesses greater fuel efficiency. In addition, the vessel can pump sediment at greater distances The dredge also digs deeper and wider, allowing it to finish projects faster, Bradbury said.