Unalaska Endorses USACE's Recommendation To Dredge To 58 Feet Deep

While construction is still years away, a proposal to streamline shipping traffic through the Port of Dutch Harbor has cleared several early hurdles. In 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished a two-year feasibility study, recommended a dredging project, and won initial approval from the Unalaska City Council.

The Corps is looking to blast out and scoop away a bar that hampers navigation into Iliuliuk Bay.

By removing the dense 16-foot shoal, project planner George Kalli said deep-draft vessels would be able to maneuver through the entrance channel more easily at a comfortable depth of 58 feet.  

"The bar is really the only constraint out there," he said. "It's surrounded by deep water on both sides."

With better access to that deep water, Kalli said container vessels and other large ships wouldn't have to take such costly, time-consuming measures to make it over the bar and into port.

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