Scarborough River dredge set to start next week

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SCARBOROUGH — The project manager overseeing the $1.7 million dredging of the Scarborough River expects work to be fully underway early next week.

It will be the first dredging of the channel in about a decade.

Justin Kim on Wednesday said he and a crew of five from North American Landscaping, Construction and Dredging Co., of Ellicott City, Md., will check pipeline connections at the end of this week before beginning the work in earnest.

Kim said work will begin outside the river mouth and work through the channel toward the Pine Point Pier, and the job will be done by March 31. More than 114,300 cubic yards of sediment will be removed from the river to increase its channel depth to 8 feet at the mouth and 6 feet near the Pine Point Pier.

A barge will be towed by two boats, will remove sediment, and pump it through pipes to “renourish” Western Beach. Beach elevations are expected to increase 6 to 9 feet, Kim said.

Kim said the dredger is powered by a 700-hp engine, and about 6,100 feet of pipeline will be needed in the project.

The dredge crew will increase to 10 and Kim said there is some chance local labor will also be needed for the project, which is federally funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers using disaster funding from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Over time, some of the renourishment of private Western Beach is expected to accrete to Ferry Beach, a town beach across the channel from Pine Point.

The dredging had been expected to begin last October, but was held up by an appeal from a competing bidder, which was not decided until December.

There were also concerns that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service would stop the dredging because the renourished beaches would lack proper protection for endangered and threatened species, but the USFWS has not intervened.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Dredging of the Scarborough River will be carried out by this barge, seen Tuesday at Ferry Beach.

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Workers from North American Landscaping, Construction and Dredge Co. of Ellicott City, Md., fit pipe connections Tuesday morning at Ferry Beach. The Scarborough River dredge operation is expected to begin next week and be completed by March 31.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.