Old Saybrook harbor dredging gets underway
OLD SAYBROOK — Work has gotten started on a $4.3 million dredging project to clean 290,000 cubic yards of sediment out of the town’s North Cove, which is located near the mouth of the Connecticut River.
Officials with the Connecticut Port Authority announced the start of dredging during a press conference Monday. The Authority is headquartered in Old Saybrook and the state agency will be funding the work.
The dredging will restore the federally authorized depth of the cove and the width of its entrance channel, according to agency officials.
“This is an exciting time to invest in Connecticut, and the Port Authority is proud to play our part in supporting our local communities and economic development across the state,” Scott Bates, the Port Authority’s chairman, said in a statement. “The Connecticut Port Authority is investing in the future of Connecticut’s maritime industry. Projects like this in North Cove really hit home for our waterfront communities.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the dredging project. Once the project is completed, Authority officials say there will be greater access to the cove at all tide levels. It will also make every mooring available for use.
The flow of the Connecticut River and natural tidal actions as it meets Long Island Sound have deposited shoals in both the cove and the channel. Those shoals have reduced the depth of the water in some areas to as little as four feet, according to Authority officials.
The entrance channel is authorized to a depth of 11 feet and the anchorage area is authorized to both 11 feet and 6 feet at different locations.
The dredged material has been analyzed and determined suitable for deposit in the Central Long Island Sound Disposal Site, which is located 5.6 miles off of South End Point in East Haven. according to the Army Corps of Engineers New England District website.