Oct 23, 2018

USACE Dredges San Diego Harbor Six Months Late

The sediment removal was delayed due to a lack of permit by USACE

USACE begins sediment removal at a San Diego beach
USACE begins sediment removal at a San Diego beach

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has begun dredging a sand bar at the entrance to the Oceanside Harbor in San Diego. The project was delayed nearly six months after it was scheduled to begin due to a lack of permit.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the goal of the annual spring cleaning is to keep the channel at least 20 ft deep and reduce hazards to boats at the harbor entrance. Reportedly, some whale watching and boat rental businesses had to cancel trips this summer due to the shallow entrance, which is usually dredged by Memorial Day weekend.

While the USACE is required to renew their permit every five years with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, the federal agency failed to get it renewed before the work’s intended start date. The situation was further complicated when the contractor scheduled to do the dredging, Mason Construction Co., had a job in Seattle that started in May; therefore, they were unable to wait until the permit arrived and had to return to complete the dredging this fall.

USACE and the contractor plan to remove 180,000 cu yards of sand from the harbor, less than the 250,000 cu yards that is usually dredged. The sand then will be redistributed on the beach from Surfrider Way to the municipal pier.

The total dredging will cost $3.4 million, according to an announcement from the USACE.

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