NORFOLK, Va. – Contractors are dredging navigation channels near the town of Wachapreague.
Cottrell Contracting Corporation’s dredge Marion began dredging Bradford Bay Aug. 10 and is working its way northwest into Finney Creek and finally into Wachapreague Channel.
The channels, which provide tourism and commerce to Wachapreague and navigation abilities to the U.S. Coast Guard, have naturally silted over time, but the process was given a significant nudge by Hurricane Sandy. For several months, the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has prepared and begun to implement plans to dredge the channels to 6 feet below mean lower low water, or average low water heights of each tidal day.
“This project is necessary to repair navigation impacts,” said Kerry Kennedy, Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project manager. “That particular area of coastline is important to the U.S. Coast Guard, Accomack County and the Wachapreague community.”
Dredging operations are 24 hours a day and the job should take approximately 16-18 days, Kennedy said.
During that time, mariners are advised that the dredge Marion has right of way in the channels and a no-wake zone exists in the construction area, which is monitored by the U.S. Coast Guard.