Scarborough River dredging to resume

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SCARBOROUGH — After months on hold, dredging of the Scarborough River will resume in November under a $2.3 million contract.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has chosen a new contractor for the project, which was originally supposed to start last October. The job will now be completed by Southwind Construction Corp., of Evansville, Indiana, under the contract awarded Sept. 23.

“We’re pleased because they actually chose the same contractor who did the dredging in 2004,” Town Manager Tom Hall said, referring to when the river was last dredged.

“We were pleased last time and I’m sure we’ll be pleased again.”

The project is scheduled to begin Nov. 3 and expected to take three months, although Hall said it might be completed sooner. About 100,000 cubic yards of sand will be dug up to create an 8-foot deep entrance and a 6-foot deep channel and anchorage. The dredged material will be deposited on Western Beach as “beneficial use material.”

The project was delayed last year by an appeal from a competing bidder and concerns that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services might object to placing the dredged material on the beach.

North American Landscaping, Construction and Dredge Co., of Ellicott City, Maryland, was chosen in December for the project, and the dredging was set to begin Jan. 6.

The project was due to be finished by March 31, the deadline required by environmental regulations. But the start date was pushed back to February because of incomplete paperwork. A week before the deadline, the contractor had only dredged 20,000 cubic yards of material.

In March, Mike Walsh, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps, said the project should have been completed on time, but acknowledged the failure was due to harsh weather and contract complications.

Hall then said a new contractor would probably be chosen.

Under the new contract, Southwind is expected to finish the project by early 2015.

“It certainly would have been nice to have had it done last season, but I’m just glad it’s getting done at all,” Hall said.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.