Dredging Begins at Mouth of Bay to Keep Shipping Channel Safe

Work is underway at the mouth of the Bay to dredge about 2.5 million cubic yards of mud, silt and sand out of the Cape Henry Channel.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors began dredging this month, to dig the key shipping channel to a depth of 51 feet, plus one foot of overdepth.

Crews under contract of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, began work last night to dredge approximately 2.5 million cubic yards of material from the Cape Henry Channel at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay where shipping vessels enter the Bay en route to the Port of Baltimore. 

The work is part of the regular maintenance of the multiple channels from the mouth of the Bay to  Baltimore that require periodic dredging to ensure continued safe navigation for vessels going in and out of the Port of Baltimore.

Crews will be dredging Cape Henry Channel to a depth of 51 feet plus one foot of overdepth. The dredging of Cape Henry Channel is expected to be completed by the fall.

“Maintaining the shipping channels associated with Baltimore Harbor is extremely important economically to not only the City of Baltimore but also the State of Maryland and neighboring states throughout the region including Virginia,” said Baltimore District Commander Col. Ed Chamberlayne, who, in that position, also formally serves as the Supervisor of the Harbor for Baltimore Harbor. “That is why we remain committed to continuing to work closely with our partners in the Maryland Port Administration to maintain the depths of these vital channels.”

The work is being done through a $14.5 million contract that was awarded to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock of Oak Brook, Illinois. 

The approximately 2.5 million cubic yards of material consists primarily of mud, silt, sand, shell, and mixtures thereof and is being placed at the nearby Dam Neck Ocean Dredge Material Disposal Site. 

-Meg Walburn Viviano

Bay Bulletin