Dredging season arrives

The deluge of rain last month didn’t just flood local roads, homes and basements, it also messed up the dredging schedule for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Alex Doty
May 3, 2013

“They’ve tried to get here all spring,” Corps of Engineers Area Engineer Tom O’Bryan said. “We’re very glad they’re finally on board.”

The Corps of Engineers has a contract with The King Co. of Holland to perform $540,000 worth of dredging in the Grand Haven channel this spring.

The dredging company will dredge 80,000 cubic yards of material out of the harbor. About 40,000 cubic yards will come from an area from the entrance of the harbor at Lake Michigan and upstream, and another 40,000 yards will come from an area from North Shore Marina to just past the Board of Light & Power plant on Harbor Island.

According to O’Bryan, the project will involve cleaning up a lot of shoaling in the channel. Shoaling occurs when sand builds up in areas of the water, restricting vessel access.

“They will be putting (the dredged material) out into the nourishment zones,” O’Bryan said.

Nourishment zones are located several hundred feet offshore. Sand deposited there eventually makes its way to the beach.

Before The King Co. can get to the Grand River, work has to be done in the Holland and Muskegon areas.

“They’re currently dredging those two harbors right now,” O’Bryan said. “They’ve got 140,000 cubic yards to go, so they’ve got a lot to do.”

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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