Posted on: December 16, 2016

Harbor Dredging


Newsflash - Dredging - 2017


As you may be aware, there is a lot of activity going on in and around our harbor. The Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fulfills Morro Bay’s dredging needs. These critical dredging projects, which keep our harbor safe and navigable, are wholly dependent on Congressional funding and could not be undertaken by the City of Morro Bay alone due to the multi-million dollar costs.

Some facts and other information:

Approximately 280,000 cubic yards of clean sand and gravel accumulated in our harbor channels is being pumped to EPA-approved placement areas in the surf zone on Morro Strand State Beach and offshore of the Sandspit.

This dredged material has been through a thorough suite of testing and review by several regulatory agencies and deemed suitable for placement on the beach for “beach nourishment.”

The current $4.37M project will be ongoing through the end of March.

The Army Corps of Engineers’ dredge ship Yaquina will be here in May to complete another $3M of dredging our harbor entrance.

The prime contractor, Ahtna Design-Build, and its subcontractors have 15+ employees in Morro bay at any given time. These employees and their families use local hotels, restaurants and businesses, adding an additional benefit to our local economy.

Dredge operations are scheduled 24 hours per day to maximize efficiency and minimize overall dredging time.

Although noise control measures have been implemented to minimize disturbances during this work, we ask for everyone’s patience during this time. Dredge operations are scheduled to work 24 hours a day.

The short-term inconveniences are outweighed by the long term benefits this dredging brings to our community. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and appreciate the patience and support from the community as the boating channel is dredged.

Press Release

Army Corps of Engineers dredging Morro Bay Harbor

Post Date: 12/16/2016

Morro Bay - Approximately 240,000 cubic yards of dredged material consisting of clean sand and gravel will be removed from the entrance channel, sand trap and main channels at Morro Bay Harbor to ensure safe navigation.  Dredged material will be placed upcoast in the EPA-approved disposal area for beach nourishment purposes.

This project is managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District, under contract by the Ahtna Design-build Corporation with the contract value of $4,379,925.  Crews will be working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using a hydraulic/cutterhead dredge that will pipe material through the bay and down the beach to the disposal site. 

Equipment is scheduled to arrive by truck starting December 20th and dredging is set to begin approximately the week of January 8, 2017 and should run through the end of February.  Equipment will be staged and stored in a fenced yard to be created in the southern portion of the dirt Morro Rock parking lot. 

The material will be placed on the beach roughly between Morro Bay High School and Azure Street, and while it may initially appear dark and/or black and aromatic due to its anoxic (lack of oxygen) condition at the time of dredging, it will typically lighten to background levels within a few days after being exposed to the sun and air.  Prior to dredging, the material was tested and has been cleared by numerous Federal and State environmental/resource agencies for deposition to re-nourish our beaches. 

To ensure safe and adequate road, beach and boardwalk access, ramps will be constructed over the pipeline at key location.  All work will be in consultation and coordination with the City of Morro Bay to ensure safety as a top priority and the least amount of disruption to the public occurs.  There will be impacts, and the community is requested to be patient while this necessary and critical dredging is taking place.  Boaters in the area should slow down, pay attention to rig markings and be cautious around the operations. 

Press Release: MB Harbor Dredge
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