NORFOLK – The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $991,500 contract to a Cleveland, Miss.- based company to dredge the Tangier Island, Va. federal navigation channel on Dec. 16.
The contractor, 4H Construction Corporation, will perform maintenance dredging in the channel, removing approximately 55,500 cubic yards of material, which will allow waterman, supply vessels and ferries safe access to and from the island.
“It’s our lifeline, it’s very important to us,” said James Eskridge, Tangier town mayor, “It’s how the supplies come into the island and how the guys get out working on the water and making their living.”
With the contract awarded the Norfolk District and representatives with 4h Construction will meet to hammer out the final plans prior to the first dredge arriving at the island.
“We are looking at starting onsite operations later this winter,” said Jason Flowers, Norfolk District project manager. “It is a vital waterway to the people in this community and we are committed to ensuring that this project is successful throughout the construction process.” he continued.
The channel is the main connection from the island to the mainland and is maintained to a depth of 8 feet mean lower low water day in the east channel and 7 feet mean lower low water in the turning basin and west channel.
The River and Harbor Act of 2 March 1919 authorized the Tangier Channels Federal navigation project. The act was later by several acts, and one of which authorized a channel from the basin through Tangier Creek westward to the Chesapeake Bay.
The funding for this maintenance dredging event at Tangier Island is provided by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013.