Category Archives: River Dredging

Blocked Water Channel

Getting Rid of a Blocked Water Channel Once and For All

Tilghman Island Rich History

Tilghman Island is nestled in the heart of Talbot County, Maryland. Formerly referred to as the “Great Choptank Island,” the island is only 3 miles long (4.83 kms) and a 1 mile (1.60 kms) wide.  According to historians, the first English settlers arrived over 360 years ago in 1656.

During the early 19th century, two parcels of land were sold to a group of oysterman. The group wanted the land for its close proximity to the prime harvesting grounds that surround Tilghman Island.  Today, over 1,000 thousand residents live on the island. A majority of the residence make their living by crabbing, fishing, and oyster or seafood packing.

Tilghman Island Worst Nightmare – A Blocked Water Channel

Throughout the its recent history, severe thunderstorms and eroding waterways have caused sediment, clay, mud, silt, sand, and shells to build up, blocking  the Knapps Narrows access channel to the Choptank River. Consequently, the Knapps not only shortens the route around the end of the island by over five miles (8kms), it is the home port for dozens of fishing and crabbing vessels. In some locations, depths have been reported as low as a 1 foot (0.30m) during low tide.

The blocked channel is preventing Tilghman Island businesses from thriving.  Several business owners have lost nearly 50 percent of their business.  Ron Cicero, the owner of Tilghman Island Marina and Rentals, said that the impact has been felt by everyone. “Restaurants and tourism on the island have declined dramatically over the years.” Cicero also added that boaters and tourists  are staying away from the island because of the blocked channel.  With so many declining businesses struggling to survive the local economy has suffered.  As a result, residents took matters into their own hands, and started searching for answers to their problems several months ago.

WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 –

Solution to the Problem—Hydraulic Dredging

Residence can now breathe a sigh of relief. The US Army Corp of Engineers in conjunction with various branches of the Federal Government, Maryland State Government, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Talbot County government have agreed to allow crews to dredge approximately 100,000 cubic yd3 (914,40 m3) of material.

Workers are using an Ellicott Series 970 Dragon Dredge to clear the channel. The Hydraulic dredge is ideal for this specific job.  To summarize things, the dredeges’ cutterhead  will remove the debris found in the river.  The dredge will then pump the discharge efficiently to a distant location. In fact, we are already a week into dredging, and crews have dropped a blue pipeline on the west side of the Choptank River. Now the dredges are sucking up dirt and water – pumping it out of the river to a nearby farm.

The project is expected to cost approximately $1.4 million and will be done by Memorial Day weekend.

How To Get Rid of Muck

The Initial Project

At one time, over 4 million gallons (1,514 million liters) of toxic semi-treated sewage flowed into Palm Bay Florida’s Turkey Creek. As a result, Turkey Creek contained extremely high levels of harmful toxins and nutrients.

During the spring of 2017, the team from Gator Dredging spent most of their time focused on cleaning up the mess that once occupied Turkey Creek, removing over 236,000 yd3 (180,435 m3) of muck, nitrogen, and phosphorus contamination.

The Right Kind of Equipment

When working on a project the size of Turkey Creek, you need the right kind of equipment. For this project, an Ellicott Series 670 Dragon®  dredge was selected. The 670 is capable of digging as deep as 42 feet (13.0 m) and contains a sizeable pump with a lot of horsepower that’s needed to complete a job of this magnitude. The Series 670 Dragon® dredge is known as a dependable, reliable, and top-notch piece of machinery with an excellent reputation.

The initial Turkey Creek cleanup took several months to complete, but as the project was drawing to a close, all of the parties that were impacted by the initial cleanup thought that their work was nearly complete. However, little did they know that a natural disaster was just around the corner that would negate all of their prior hard work and effort.

 

Hurricane Irma

On September 11, 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the Gulf Coast of Florida, causing significant flooding in the nearby Turkey Creek community located close to Gainesville. For the second time in less than two years, the harmful muck that had previously existed in Turkey Creek once again infiltrated the body of water and had to be cleaned up.  This time, the team from Gator Dredging was asked to remove organic muck that could now be found underneath docks located in shallow areas and filling deep holes throughout the surrounding Turkey Creek area that had been impacted by damage from the storm.

Two of the most significant challenges facing the team from Gator Dredge during the cleanup process this time included managing materials and controlling the return of water.  That’s because, for nearly five decades, local and state officials ignored the condition of the creek, the impact that the muck had on the health of residents, and its impact on the surrounding habitat.

Why Dredging?

Dredging is the foundation of most aquatic projects and addresses a wide range of the world’s financial, social, and environmental needs. With more than 50 percent of the world’s population living inside of a 125 miles (201 km) radius of a significant coastline, low lying areas like Turkey Creek are in jeopardy of severe flooding and require constant improvements along and near its shoreline.

Aquatic areas similar to Turkey Creek have experienced rising water levels caused by powerful storms such as Hurricane Irma. The results include property damage for hundreds of homeowners impacted by deadly hurricanes, and it also affects the surrounding habitat causing millions of dollars in damage if left untreated.

So why is dredging important? When a body of water is dredged, there is a less likely chance of shore erosion occurring, and the surrounding habitat is restored. Several forms of sediment contain toxins from industrial runoff that significantly impact the water quality.

When any type of debris that contains pollutants are removed, the overall health of a body of water improves.

Southwind Dredging Little River

DNREC’s Divisions of Watershed Stewardship and Fish & Wildlife have announced plans for a cooperative dredging project on the Little River near Dover, from the Route 9/Bayside Drive bridge in Little Creek east into the Delaware Bay.

Dredging is scheduled to begin in the second week of this month. Southwind Construction of Evansville, Ind., was awarded the contract for the project and will be using their 14″ Ellicott 970 dredge.

The channel is approximately 12,400 feet long and will be dredged to widths of 40 feet in the river portion and 60 feet in the Delaware Bay portion, and to a depth of 5 feet at average low tide. The Little River was last dredged by the state in 1981-1982.

A secondary benefit of the project is the beneficial use of dredged material to restore and enhance waterbird habitat within the nearby Division of Fish & Wildlife Little Creek Wildlife Area impoundment’s Refuge cell, one of several cells comprising the impoundment divided by dikes to allow for separate management.

Beneficial use material will increase bottom elevations within the impoundment cell to a level that promotes waterfowl and shorebird diverse habitat and food resources, offsetting sinking marsh elevations that have resulted in excessive open water habitat.

The $1.01 million state-funded project includes dredging 79,000 cubic yards of material from the channel, and the removal of 30 derelict pilings and a derelict vessel from the waterway near Little Creek.

A pipeline will be placed along an existing road in the Little Creek Wildlife Area to pump dredge material from the river channel into the Refuge impoundment cell.

The project is not expected to interfere with hunting in the area. Project completion is anticipated by October 1, before peak waterfowl season.

Ellicott-designed hopper dredge cited for work on Mississippi River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, has just announced that after 62 daysMac1-hopper-dredger of work their hopper dredger McFarland successfully completed emergency dredging operations on the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River.

The ‘Mac’, one of four oceangoing hopper dredgers owned and operated by the Army Corps, was called upon because high stages impacted navigation.

This vessel is the only dredger in the world with triple capability for direct pumpout, bottom discharge and sidecasting or boom discharge.

Source: Dredging Today

Cheboygan River Dredging Resumes with Ellicott 670 Dredge

The Cheboygan River dredging program is back on track after crews had to stop works on the project due to unsafe weather conditions in December, reported Cheboygan Daily Tribune.

670-dredge-cheboygan-riverAccording to City Manager Tom Eustice, the contractor, Luedtke Engineering Company, has begun dredging again to complete the task.

It’s good to see them back here,” Eustice said. “It’s just another sign of spring.”

The dredged material is slated to be dumped in Lake Huron at an 80-foot-deep disposal area that is about two miles straight out from the river.

Dredging will also take place further down the river, including as far south as Plaunt Transportation, which operates ferry service to and from Bois Blanc Island

Source: Dredging Today