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Re-scheduled public meeting set for April 8; Corps of Engineers, Maine DOT to hold public information meeting in Belfast on Searsport Harbor dredging proposal

Published March 27, 2014
Aerial view of Searsport Harbor, Searsport, Maine, which is located on Penobscot Bay, about four miles northeast of Belfast Harbor and 26 miles north of Rockland Harbor. The project was completed in 1964 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and consists of an access channel, 35-feet deep and 500-feet wide, west of Sears Island; and a 35-feet deep turning basin extending from the end of the access channel to the piers at Mack Point. The turning basin has a maximum width of 1,500 feet.

Aerial view of Searsport Harbor, Searsport, Maine, which is located on Penobscot Bay, about four miles northeast of Belfast Harbor and 26 miles north of Rockland Harbor. The project was completed in 1964 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and consists of an access channel, 35-feet deep and 500-feet wide, west of Sears Island; and a 35-feet deep turning basin extending from the end of the access channel to the piers at Mack Point. The turning basin has a maximum width of 1,500 feet.

Aerial view of Searsport Harbor, Searsport, Maine, which is located on Penobscot Bay, about four miles northeast of Belfast Harbor and 26 miles north of Rockland Harbor. The project was completed in 1964 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and consists of an access channel, 35-feet deep and 500-feet wide, west of Sears Island; and a 35-feet deep turning basin extending from the end of the access channel to the piers at Mack Point. The turning basin has a maximum width of 1,500 feet.

Aerial view of Searsport Harbor, Searsport, Maine, which is located on Penobscot Bay, about four miles northeast of Belfast Harbor and 26 miles north of Rockland Harbor. The project was completed in 1964 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and consists of an access channel, 35-feet deep and 500-feet wide, west of Sears Island; and a 35-feet deep turning basin extending from the end of the access channel to the piers at Mack Point. The turning basin has a maximum width of 1,500 feet.

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, and the Maine Department of Transportation will hold a Water Quality Certification pre-application public informational meeting as required by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection on April 8, 2014 in Belfast on the proposal for maintenance and improvement dredging of the Searsport Harbor Federal Navigation Project in Searsport, Maine. The Maine DOT is the non-Federal sponsor for the USACE Feasibility study.

 

The purpose of meeting is to inform the public of the project proposal and its anticipated environmental impacts and to advise the public of opportunities for public comment to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. At a similar previous meeting on the project held in Bangor on Feb. 24, members of the public suggested that another meeting be held in the Searsport area to provide those that may not have been able to attend the Bangor meeting an opportunity to hear information on the project. A previous meeting scheduled to be held in Belfast for late March was postponed due to a forecasted winter storm.  

 

The public information meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at the University of Maine, Hutchinson Center, at 80 Belmont Avenue in Belfast, Maine. Doors will open at noon and the meeting will be held from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

 

In response to a resolution of Congress dated July 26, 2000, the USACE New England District in partnership with the Maine Department of Transportation, Maine Port Authority, has undertaken a Feasibility study of navigation improvements to the existing Federal Navigation Project at Searsport Harbor (Mack Point) in Searsport, Maine. 

 

The selected project would deepen the existing entrance channel and turning basin from a depth of -35 feet to -40 feet at mean lower low water.  In addition, the entrance channel, currently 500 feet wide at its narrowest point, would be widened to 650 feet, and a maneuvering area adjacent to State Pier’s east berth in Long Cove would be created.  Dredged material would be disposed of at the identified disposal site in Penobscot Bay.  With the proposed project, deep draft vessels would be able to access the port more efficiently, and transportation costs for goods arriving at the port would be reduced.

 

Meeting contacts: Maine Department of Transportation, Maine Port Authority, (Attn: Executive Director John  Henshaw), 16 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0016; email john.h.henshaw@maine.gov; or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Engineering and Planning Division (Attn: Study Manager Barbara Blumeris), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751 or by email to cenae-ep@usace.army.mil.


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

Release no. 2014-032