The Port of Grays Harbor and the US Army Corps of Engineers celebrated the deeper draft project on Wednesday.
While dredging officially began on October 3, residents and elected officials joined together on Wednesday to celebrate the project 40 years in the making.
Grays Harbor dredging will bring the navigation channel to a deeper depth of -38 feet, down from the -36 feet that it currently sits, and to the Congressionally Authorized depth.
Port Commissioner Jack Thompson said that the 2 feet dredge will make a large difference to vessels that currently have to carry less than full loads when coming in and leaving the port.
The Corps of Engineers worked with the port in conducting a study on the channel to make sure that it was economically and environmentally viable before awarding a $27.1 million dredging contract. Colonel John G. Buck explains why the process is important.
Dredging began in October, and will continue until 2018.
Port Executive Director Gary Nelson said that it is not a quick process.
Dredging will remove approximately 3.5 million cubic yards of material.
The contract contains three distinct work windows:
October 1, 2016 – February 14, 2017;
July 16, 2017 – February 14, 2018;
July 16 – September 30, 2018.