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Posted 3/13/2014

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By James D'Ambrosio
New York District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, recently completed the maintenance dredging of nearly 680,000 cubic yards of sand from the Jones Inlet Federal Navigation Channel in Nassau County, NY, to a depth of more than 14 feet. The channel, approximately 2.3 miles long, separates Point Lookout and Jones Beach State Park on Long Island’s south shore.

It incurred additional shoaling due to Hurricane Sandy which necessitated additional dredging, which hadn’t been done since 2008 when New York State funded the removal of approximately 642,000 cubic yards of sand. The $10.1 million contract was carried out by Weeks Marine of Cranford, N.J.

In addition to restoring the federal channel to authorized dimensions, the sand removed from Jones Inlet was beneficially re-used to provide a degree of shore risk reduction along the 3,500 feet of shoreline ─ about 2/3 mile ─ immediately west of the inlet at Point Lookout and to provide emergency stockpiles for resiliency against future storm impacts, as needed.

“With Sandy supplemental appropriations under Public Law 113-2/Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, the Corps is able to dredge federal navigation channels and repair Corps projects that were damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy,” said Joe Olha, project manager, New York District. “By removing critical shoals that impacted navigation in Jones Inlet federal channel, we were able to restore the navigation project to authorized dimensions and provide a degree of storm resiliency to the Point Lookout shoreline.”

A $3.8 million contract has been awarded to Village Dock, Inc. of Port Jefferson, N.Y., to make repairs to navigational jetties at Jones Inlet and East Rockaway Inlet, both also damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Both jetties require a minimum of locating and retrieving large stones dislodged during the storm, and adding new stones to strengthen jetties where original stones cannot be recovered. The repair of the Jones Inlet jetty is scheduled for completion by spring 2014, at which point work on the East Rockaway Inlet jetty rehabilitation can begin.

Repairs to navigation channels such as Jones Inlet is one of several dozen dredging and navigation-structure repair projects the Army Corps of Engineers is managing throughout the northeast. These projects contribute to safe marine navigation and were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. All told, an estimated $350+ million is being used for similar projects mitigating Sandy's impacts to vital navigation channels and structures.

The importance of maintenance dredging cannot be overstated. Without regular channel maintenance much of U.S. commerce would be impacted in a relatively short time as most goods travel by ships requiring channels to access harbors or seas. Jones Inlet is used by both private and commercial interests: nearly 10,000 tons of fish and fish products, boat supplies, scrap metal and fuel oil pass through each year.

Federal Navigation Channel Jones Inlet Project