Oceanside Harbor dredging extended to get more sand on beaches
The dredging that began Oct. 17 at the Oceanside Harbor has been extended by about two weeks to get more sand, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday.
An additional 100,000 cubic yards of sand will be excavated, bringing the new total to 280,000 cubic yards that the contractor plans to place on the Oceanside beach, said Jay Field, a spokesman for the federal agency.
Also going up is the cost of the project. The extension adds $1.5 million to the Corps’ original $3.5 million contract with Manson Construction of Seattle, Field said in an emailed response to questions.
When the overdue dredging was announced early this fall, the work was expected to continue 24 hours a day and be completed by Oct. 29. Completion is now expected in mid-November.
“The project should take about 10 (more) days to complete, depending on weather and sea conditions,” Field said Thursday.
A large southwest swell has slowed progress significantly for the last few days, according to an online report prepared Thursday for the Oceanside City Council.
“The dredge has been operating for approximately three hours a day,” states the city staff report. “As of Wednesday, a total of 135,000 cubic yards have been dredged with another 145,000 cubic yards to go.”
Normal ocean currents and waves constantly push sand into the harbor. The entrance has been dredged every year or two, usually in the spring, to keep it open and safe for navigation since the Oceanside harbor was built in the 1960s.
However, a series of unfortunate events including bad weather and equipment problems have made the dredging project troublesome the last few years. An inexperienced contractor was hired in 2016, dragging the work out months longer than expected. And the entire project was cancelled in April after the Corps failed to renew the required water quality permit in time.
As a result, the shallow entrance made navigation difficult over the summer, requiring the October dredging.
Present plans call for another maintenance dredging next April.
As an important byproduct of the dredging, sand is pumped from the harbor onto nearby beaches. Without their annual spring restoration, the city’s shoreline becomes narrow and rocky.
The original October contract was to distribute sand between Surfrider Way and the northern side of the municipal pier. The additional work could add fresh sand south of the pier, possibly as far as the Tyson Park area. Read full article.