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Bayside Dredging Project to Begin 'Any Day'

Work will provide deeper water for boats stranded at low tide.

A dredge is on the way to Ocean City from Maryland, and a long-awaited project to deepen bayside lagoons and channels in Ocean City will begin "any day," according to Ocean City Business Administrator Mike Dattilo.

Dattilo said on Tuesday that the existing spoils site near 34th Street is in good shape and ready to receive dredged material. Crews have been working there for several weeks to create berms to contain the dredge spoils. 

At low tide, many channels and lagoons on the bayside are impassable to boat traffic — or even to kayakers and swimmers. The starting time for the annual Night in Venice parade on July 28 had to be changed to coincide with a higher tide.

City Council in May awarded a $1.8 million contract to Hydro-Marine Construction Company of Hainesport, NJ, which had submitted the lowest of three competitive bids. Along with $194,634 in planning costs paid to Duffield Associates, the existing project should cost about $2 million.

The project is expected to take two to three months to complete, and the city has a permitting window through November 30.

The project wil include dredging in an area between 16th Street and 34th Street, including substantial parts of:

  • Carnival Bayou Lagoon: Between 16th and 17th streets (the dredging in this area would include part of the bayfront heading toward 15th Street)
  • Venetian Bayou Lagoon: Between 17th and 18th streets
  • Sunny Harbor Lagoon: Between Arkansas and Walnut
  • South Harbor Lagoon: Between Spruce and Tennessee
  • Clubhouse/Bluefish Lagoon: Between Waterway Road and Clubhouse Drive

Work will begin at South Harbor Lagoon and proceed north from there, Dattilo said. The dredges will then return south to Clubhouse/Bluefish Lagoon off Waterway Road.

Advisories on boating and swimming in the work areas will be issued when the project begins, Dattilo said. He said earlier this year that the DEP has tested the material to be dredged (as is required) and that the results are available at the City Clerk's Office. He said a summary of results show levels that are "not alarming" — though they do show some metals and some organics (including benzopyrene).

The areas would be dredged to a minimum depth of four feet (at low water) and average of five feet — with some spots six feet deep.

About 100,000 cubic yards of dredge spoils can be transported to the existing site off 34th Street without further permitting.

But with the additional 100,000 cubic yards, the existing spoils site would be filled to capacity, and the absence of a new site is the primary obstacle to completing more dredging work in other parts of Ocean City.

The city is continuing to explore possibilities for other spoils sites.

Dubert August 29, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Richard Jacoby August 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM
It's nice we're dredging the lagoons for the rich and I know they need it, but it would be nicer to dredge some of the open bay channels for the common folk.
George August 29, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Rich, point well taken. The issue is much more then just the lagoons, however, the lagoons also have the lion share of docks with boats who need access to the open bay, so the issue does cross many lines. My issue with this project, is on several levels. They are now starting the project which was to start at the end of June so we are running 2+ months behind schedule. Why? The lagoons will now be dredges so that there is adequate time over the winter for them to fill in agan for next season as they are only going to 4' at MLW. They have yet to resolve the loger term issue and there is no pressure to come up with a solution as the issue will fall on the next Mayors lap only to be abdicated in their responsibility once again. I am a boat owner and unfortunaty have not been able to use my boat due to the issue. I heard the city is giving tax reductions to waterfront property owners for lack of access to the bay. Not sure It is true, but I would like to know more about that. Why not just use those funds to support further adequate dredging?
Edward May August 29, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Dredge Snug Harbor as soon as they are finished with the rest of the lagoons while the dredge and pipelines are here it looks as the bridge contractors are clearing out of their staging area as I write this that way you could save money.


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