Section 107 of the River and Harbor Act of 1960 provides authority for the Corps of Engineers to improve navigation including dredging of channels, anchorage areas, and turning basins and construction of breakwaters, jetties and groins, through a partnership with non-Federal government sponsor such as cities, counties, special chartered authorities (such as port authorities), or units of state government. The maximum Federal cost for project development and construction of any one project is $4,000,000 and each project must be economically justified, environmentally sound, and technically feasible.
The Corps does not participate in the cost of dredging berthing areas, slip space, access to individual private docks, or the construction of piers, ramps and other shore facilities. The Sponsoring community must agree to construct and maintain at local cost a public landing sufficient to serve the type and number of commercial boats for which the Federal project is designed.
Project Process and Local Costs. Projects are undertaken on a cost-shared basis. The first step in the process is completion of an initial appraisal that determines if there is Federal interest in participating in feasibility study to identify a solution to the problemsand needs of the sponsor and waterway in question. That initial appraisal is primarily an economic evaluation that results in a preliminary estimate of potential project costs and benefits and provides a decision-making tool for the Corps and Town to determine if they want to share in the cost of a feasibility study. If a Federal interest is identified, then the Corps and the Sponsor would enter into an agreement to share the cost of a feasibility study. The feasibility study must be cost-shared 50/50 between the Town and the Corps, except for the first $100,000 in study costs which is funded 100 percent Federal. The feasibility study would examine alternatives for the problems and needs and determine the best solution consistent with Federal policy. Section 107 Continuing Authority studies for small navigation projects are generally completed within 3 years of initiation. The solution must pass three criteria: economic feasibility, environmental impacts, and it must have a local partnership. The steps in the process are:
- Feasibility Study. The Corps will conduct a Feasibility Study, which is 100 percent federally funded up to $100,000. Costs over the $100,000 are cost shared with the non-federal sponsor on a 50/50 basis (up to one-half of the non-federal share can be in the form of in-kind services). An initial assessment early in the Feasibility Study will determine if Section 107 authority appears applicable and provides a basis for determining scope and cost of an entire Feasibility Study.
- Preparation of Plans and Specifications. Detailed design and preparation of plans and specifications are treated as part of total project costs for purposes of cost sharing and the non-federal cost share for these activities is collected with the construction cost share.
- Non-Federal Share of Construction. The non-federal share for navigation projects with a design depth of 20 feet or less 10 percent up-front during construction cost and 10 percent after construction over a period of up to 30-years. For design depths of 20 to 45 feet the up-front share increases to 25 percent, and over 45 feet to 50 percent.
- Future Project Maintenance. The Corps will be responsible for future project maintenance upon completion for project depths of 45 feet or less.
A feasibility study is conducted which is 100 percent federally funded up to $100,000.
Costs over the $100,000 are cost shared with the nonfederal partner on a 50/50 basis.
Non-Federal cost is 10 percent up-front during construction and 10 percent over a 30-year period for harbors with a design depth of 20 feet or less. For design depths of 20 to 45 feet the up-front share increases to 25 percent, and over 45 feet to 50 percent.
How to Request Assistance. Requests for assistance should be in the form of a letter describing the location and nature of the problem and requesting assistance under the program. The request should be submitted by a state or local government agency to Mr. John Kennelly, Chief, Planning Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. For more information call Mark Habel of the Special Studies Section at 978-318-8871.
Sample Letter of Intent for Section 107 - Small Navigation Project Study