This project consisted of hydraulic maintenance dredging of waterways on the east coast of Virginia in Bradford Bay where approximately 123,000 cubic yards of material were removed from the Lower Bradford Channel, Upper Bradford Channel, and Finney Creek Channel.
These channels had filled in to the point where some areas were dry ground during low tide which hampered the marine navigation required for Bradford Bay by commercial fishermen, oystermen, recreational boaters, and other interests. The material was removed via the 20” hydraulic cutter suction dredge “Bering Sea” and pumped to an open water placement area along pipeline lengths that reached almost 3 miles. The project had very challenging operating conditions due to the tidal hydraulics in shallow water where currents in the navigation channels reached rates of up to 5 knots due to a tidal range of more than 5 feet moving through navigation channels where the design depths were only -7’ to -8’ MLLW. Environmental protection was also a critical element of this project due to the wetlands and sub-aquatic vegetation surrounding the Upper Bradford & Finney Creek Channel portions of the work area. In addition to these critical protection zones, the project also transited through waters with significant biological resources, with leased and public oyster grounds being located immediately adjacent to all work areas. All work plans and operations needed to be performed without any impact to these surrounding oyster grounds which required close coordination to complete.
Date of Completion:
Owner: USACE – Norfolk District
Design Lead: USACE – Norfolk District
Partners & Supporting Organizations:
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Virginia Marine Resources Commission
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Dredge Bering Sea was transported from Port of Philadelphia, PA to the Bradford Bay, VA job site by being towed behind a tug boat which had to travel over water for more than 210 nautical miles
More than 21,000 man hours worked on project with zero lost time safety incidents
More than 17,600 linear feet of navigation channel dredged
Quantity of material removed translates to more than 8,000 triaxle dump trucks
No booster pumps were required to transport dredged material through nearly 3 miles of pipeline at its longest point
Dredging operations were conducted 24 hours per day and 7 days per week for full duration of project