Members and guests of the CIP (Community-Industry Partnership) heard details of dredging methods and regulations, at their last meeting on Thursday, Feb. 2 at the Baggett Center in Galena Park.
Mark Coyle explained that there are four types of dredging: Hydraulic, Mechanical, Mechanical/Hydraulic Offloading, and Hopper. The choice of which type is governed by cost, and conditions and location of the required work.
Also a consideration is where the dredged material will be disposed of. Coyle said that the Army Corps of Engineers counts 12 approved disposal areas around the ship channel, including three in the Galena Park area.
Coyle said that sometimes these spoils areas can sometimes be turned into “beneficial use sites” suitable for marsh or wildlife areas.
Coyle said that the existing ship channel has a depth of 45 feet toward Galveston Bay, and is progressively shallower as it goes toward the turning basin, where it is only 32 feet. Coyle said that surveys or depth measurements are continual, due to movement of sediment. Constant dredging is required in both the main federal channel, and the private channels next to petrochemical facilities.