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Despite the current COVID-19 climate, Corps of Engineers nears 10 Million Cubic Yard milestone in Boston Harbor Improvement Dredging Project

Published April 21, 2020

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New England District is nearing the milestone of removing 10 million cubic yards of dredge material as part of Phase II of the three-phased Boston Harbor Navigation Improvement Project in Boston, Massachusetts.


Approximately one million cubic yards of ordinary and hard dredge material remain to complete the current contract. The remaining 500,000 cubic yards of hard rock to be removed in the subsequent, final third, contract is expected to go out to bid late summer of 2020.


As a contractor performing work for the Department of Defense, the Joint Venture (JV) of Cashman Dredging and the Dutra Group is performing essential work under the Governor’s Stay-at-home Advisory that has been able to continue without delay despite the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the country.


USACE Senior Construction Representative, Mr. Robert Casoli, Jr., has continued to perform Quality Assurance responsibilities by developing new ways to conduct our daily business of quality assurance and safety oversight. The challenges the Government team has overcome lie in contractor limiting personnel on board the crew boats and dredges. To compensate for this inability to board the dredges, Mr. Casoli is given complete access to a contractor-owned computer located at the construction land office which mirrors the computer screen used by personnel on the Dredge Dale Pyatt so that he may review real-time progress of the dredge.  He also views the dredge position from shore as often as possible.


In addition to weekly teleconference meetings with the entire USACE and JV team, the JV’s Project Manager, Aaron Barton, and Quality Control Manager, Paul Poirier, meet with Mr. Casoli daily to provide and review the daily progress of the areas and cuts where dredging is in progress, the crew sizes and special safety precautions being taken onboard.


“The contractor has performed exceptionally well in complying with contagious disease  guidelines to include social isolation and social distancing, ensuring CDC guidelines are being followed by the crews, and taking personnel’s body temperatures daily before boarding the crew boat to head out to work the dredge and/or drag barge,” Casoli said. “Personal Protective Equipment, to include masks and gloves, is available for each employee working. A full time 24/7 Site Safety Health Office is onboard the dredge. I commend Cashman/Dutra JV for their strict protection of the workers of this project.”


The way the USACE is performing daily inspection may have changed due to the Coronavirus but the quality and production have not been affected thus far. The project continues to move forward ahead of schedule and is a great success story for the New England District.


Improvement deepening of Boston Harbor was authorized for construction by the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The WRRDA referenced a Chief of Engineers Report, signed Sept. 30, 2013, which was transmitted to Congress on Feb. 26, 2014. For more information on the Boston Harbor federal navigation project visit the website at: www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/ Massachusetts/ Boston-Harbor/. A map of Boston Harbor FNP is available at: www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/Navigation/MA/BOS/BOSMap.pdf.


Follow the Corps’ New England District at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CorpsNewEngland; on Twitter at twitter.com/CorpsNewEngland; and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/usacenewengland/.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 20-033