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Port, Army Corps To Begin Major Dredging Project

$40 million project to improve safety, shipping efficiencies

October 8, 2009

The Port of Long Beach and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on October 8 announced a $40-million harbor dredging project that will improve navigation by removing and relocating nearly 1.5 million cubic yards of sediment from the sea floor.

The dredging work, scheduled to begin in March of 2010, is being partially financed by federal stimulus funding. The projects will support about 180 jobs a year during the next two years.

"This is a joint effort between the Port of Long Beach and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve navigation in our harbor waters," said Doug Thiessen, the Port of Long Beach's Managing Director of Engineering. “It is much needed work both for the maintenance and safety of our harbor as well as for the economy.”

The dredging involves four separate locations. The primary focus is a turning basin south of the BP oil terminal on Terminal Island (Pier T), which will be deepened to 76 feet, the same depth as the main channel. The deeper inner basin means large tankers no longer will need to unload part of their oil outside the breakwater to safely reach berth.

The new depth also allows ships to turn safely in the inner basin. Oil tankers must point toward the ocean when docked so that they can quickly move away from the berth in an emergency. The BP Terminal is one of the busiest oil terminals on the West Coast.

Accumulated sediments at Catalina Ferry Basin near the mouth of the Los Angeles River also will be dredged to improve the safety of the ferries that transport passengers between Long Beach and Catalina Island.

The project also includes the removal of contaminated sediments from the West Basin, left over from past U.S. Navy operations.

The dredge materials will be used to fill about 12 acres at the northern half of ITS Terminal in Pier G. The newly filled area will be incorporated into the terminal in early 2013 and help expand the use of on-dock rail.

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