Maintenance dredging of the Marina del Rey Harbor entrance channel is underway and is scheduled to be complete in May.
The construction contract was awarded to HME Construction in late November, and work began Jan. 1.
The LA District is working alongside several project partners, including the U.S. Coast Guard and LA County’s Department of Beaches and Harbors, Harbor Patrol and Department of Public Works.
The project removes built-up sediment from the entrance channel and ensures the waterway remains safe and navigable for the more than 4,200 recreational boats docked at the harbor, as well as first responders and Coast Guard vessels.
“We typically dredge this harbor every five to seven years for navigation safety,” said Victor Andreas, project manager with the LA District. “There’s shoaling that’s occurring on the north side of the harbor, so we come in here and dredge it to open it up so vessels can go in and out.”
Andreas said shoaling happens when the buildup of underwater sediment reduces the depth and width of a waterway, making the passage or channel unnavigable and unsafe. Routine maintenance dredging prevents and mitigates this phenomenon.
The project is a 24-hour-a-day operation and is expected to remove between 400,000 to 500,000 cubic yards of underwater material from the harbor’s north jetty. The material is dredged from the harbor’s entrance and sand traps, transported on a dump scow and deposited two miles away near the shore of Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey.
The scow, called the Robert L, picks up the material from the dredging vessel, the Seahorse, and, with the help of the tugboat, the Seana C, is slated to make four to five trips per day.
Aside from inclement weather that moved the start of operations from late December to Jan. 1, Andreas said the project is going well.
“There have been some weather delays, but now it’s moving along,” Andreas said. “The folks at LA County Beaches and Harbors have been great and very supportive to help us get this project going and keep moving forward.”