Dredging in the Charleston Harbor Entrance Channel in South Carolina is underway as the first part of the Post 45 Harbor Deepening Project.
Working on the first two contracts for the US$529 million project, three dredgers and roughly 40 support vessels began deepening and extending the Entrance Channel to 16 metres in March.
Great Lakes Dredge and Dock was awarded both contracts for the Entrance Channel. They are using the cutter suction dredgers Texas and Carolina, the two largest dredgers of their kind in the United States, for the majority of the work.
The material from these dredgers is pumped into scows, which are essentially floating dump trucks, and transported to the Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site, where it is placed.
The excavator dredger New York is being used to scoop out larger chunks of material, compared to the finer material created by the cutter dredgers. The larger material being dredged up by the excavator is also being placed into a scow but is then being transported nearby to create two mitigation reefs equaling approximately 26 hectares of hard bottom habitat.
The Post 45 Project construction is anticipated to last 40 to 76 months and will include the Upper and Lower Harbor in addition to the Entrance Channel.