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Posted 3/30/2016

Release no. 2016-020


Contact
Tim Dugan
978-318-8264
cenae.pa@usace.army.mil

CONCORD, Mass. – At the request of the cities of Saco and Biddeford, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing maintenance dredging of portions of the Saco River Federal Navigation Project in Saco and Biddeford, Maine.

 

The Congressionally authorized Federal Navigation Project (FNP) provides for a channel -8 feet mean lower low water (MLLW) extending approximately six miles from Saco Bay to a 10-acre maneuvering basin (-6 feet MLLW) at Factory Island in the vicinity of downtown Saco and Biddeford. Channel width varies from 100 to 200 feet along the length of the river. Three anchorage areas (-6 feet MLLW) in the southern portion of the river provide a total of 13.5 acres of anchorage.

 

 “The proposed work involves dredging approximately 150,000 cubic yards of sand from an area of roughly 77 acres to restore the Federal navigation project to authorized dimensions,” said Project Manager Craig Martin, of the Corps’ New England District, Programs/Project Management Division in Concord, Mass. The dredge material includes about 100,000 cubic yards in the lower reaches and 50,000 cubic yards in the upper reaches of the Federal navigation project.

 

A pipeline cutterhead dredge or a mechanical dredge will be used to remove all shoals from the lower reach of the Saco River FNP. If the cutterhead pipeline dredge is used, the material will be beneficially placed on Camp Ellis Beach in Saco for direct beach nourishment. If a mechanical dredge is used, the material will be placed in the nearshore environment off of Camp Ellis Beach that will serve as a potential sand source for the erosional areas of the beach. This work will take approximately 2.5 to 3.5 months to complete during the fall and winter months (Nov. 15 through March 31).

 

The upper reach of the Saco River FNP will be dredged with either a government-owned special purpose hopper dredge or a mechanical bucket dredge. The dredged material will be placed in either the previously-used naturally deep in-river placement site between Hills Point and Thunder Island in the Saco River channel, or a previously used nearshore site off of Camp Ellis as a potential sand source for the erosional areas of the beach. The work for this area will take approximately 2 months to complete during the fall and winter months (Nov. 15 to March 31).

 

The upper reaches of the Saco River FNP were last maintained in 1992 when approximately 16,000 cubic yards of material were dredged and placed in-river. The lower section of the FNP was maintained between 1992 and 1993. Approximately 46,000 cubic yards of dredged sand were placed on Camp Ellis Beach.

 

Proposed work is being coordinated with: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife

 

Service; National Marine Fisheries Service; Maine Department of Environmental Protection; Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry; Maine Coastal Program; Maine Department of Marine Resources; Maine Historic Preservation Office; the Penobscot Nation; and the cities of Saco and Biddeford. An Environmental Assessment has been prepared and is available for review upon request.  

 

The public notice for this proposed work, with more detailed information, is available for review on the Corps website at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/PublicNotices.aspx.

 

Public comments on this proposed work should be forwarded no later than April 30, 2016 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Programs/Project Management Division (ATTN: Mr. Craig Martin), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751 or by email to nae-pn-nav@usace.army.mil.