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Connecticut River Navigation Project

The Connecticut River is one of the state’s most vital waterways. With its entrance near the eastern end of Long Island Sound, it serves (in upstream order) recreational harbors and commercial waterfronts in the communities of Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Essex, Lyme, Deep River, Chester, East Haddam, Haddam, East Hampton, Middletown, Portland, Cromwell, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury, Wethersfield, East Hartford, and Hartford.Wethersfield Cove on the Connecticut River

The first work on the Connecticut River was done in 1836 and has been modified several times. Currently, the navigational works on the river include:

  • A main ship channel comprising about 35 bar channels and naturally deep water that stretches 52 miles upstream from the river mouth in Old Saybrook to Hartford. The depth of the channel is 15 feet. The channel width is 300 feet from the river mouth to the railroad bridge (3.4 miles). From the railroad bridge to Hartford, the channel width is 150 feet.
  • Two stone jetties at the mouth of the river in Old Saybrook. The west jetty is 2,750 feet long, and the east jetty is 2,300 feet long.
  • A channel 11 feet deep and 100 feet wide that extends 1,900 feet westward from the deep water at Saybrook Shoal to North Cove, both located in Old Saybrook (mile 2).
  • Two anchorage basins at North Cove. The eastern anchorage is 11 feet deep and over 12 acres in area, and the western anchorage is six feet deep and over seven acres in area.
  • A channel on Eightmile River in Lyme and a turning basin at the head of Hamburg Cove, also in Lyme (mile 9). The channel is eight feet deep and 75 feet wide and stretches 1.5 miles eastward from the Connecticut River to the turning basin at Hamburg Cove. The turning basin is eight feet deep, 300 feet long, and 150 feet wide.
  • Training dikes, revetments, and other accessory works along the river between Sears Shoal in East Hampton (mile 24) and Hartford (mile 51).

The work described above was authorized by Congress. Under the Corps’ Continuing Authorities Program, small projects can be constructed without congressional approval. Through Section 107 of this program, the Corps has constructed two small navigation projects along the Connecticut River that are chiefly used as recreational harbors. They are:

  • A channel and two anchorages at the Essex waterfront (mile 7). The channel is almost one mile long, 10 feet deep, and 100 feet wide, and extends northwesterly from the Connecticut River channel at Essex Shoals, along the Essex waterfront, then back toward the Connecticut River channel. The area is bordered by two anchorage areas. The southern anchorage is 10 feet deep and over 15 acres in area, while the northern anchorage is eight feet deep and over 19 acres in area.
  • A channel and anchorage basin at Wethersfield Cove in Wethersfield (mile 48). The channel is six feet deep and 60 feet wide, extending 0.4 mile westward from the Connecticut River to the anchorage basin in the southern half of the cove. The anchorage basin is six feet deep and 30 acres in area.