Dredging Delays a Recurring Problem for New England Harbors

Compo Beach Marina Being Dredged

The Martha’s Vineyard Gazette points out that the delay of the Menemsha Pond and channel dredging project this winter has become a common theme in New England. Some delays have resulted from an unusually high workload in the region since 2013, according to the Gazette, and the difficulty in finding contractors. The Army Corps is essentially pooling the same contractors between multiple districts.

Also, some contractors bid multiple projects, trying to hedge their bets, and find themselves overstretched if they win more than one bid. This can lead to delays in arriving in a certain location on time.

Another factor complicating the dredging process is that some companies are unfamiliar with harsh New England winters, when a lot of the dredging needs to take place so as not to interfere with boating traffic and minimize environmental impacts, especially those to migratory fish.

The Army Corps typically awards projects to the lowest bidder, a process that comes with some drawbacks of its own, says the Gazette.

Read more about the various reasons behind delays in New England dredging projects.