NEWPORT BEACH—The Army Corps of Engineers will begin a small dredging project in Newport Beach Harbor this fall, which will be a precursor to a larger, harbor-wide dredging project. Public Works Administrative Manager Chris Miller gave an update about the dredging at the July 8 Harbor Commission meeting.
“We’re going to be doing this project first and then demobilizing and then working on the larger, Lower Bay project,” Miller said at the meeting.
The Army Corps of Engineers will spend $3 million of their funds to dredge about 70,000 cubic yards at the entrance to the harbor channel, which was last dredged in 2003. Miller said the main entrance channel has an authorized depth of 20 feet and right now the channel is in the 16- to 17-foot range. He said the material in the area is clean, coarse-grain and beach compatible. The material will be disposed of in the near shore ocean zone, right outside of the surf line.
“So that material can be put up on the beach by Mother Nature, it’s a way to replenish our beaches, it’s a natural way of replenishing our beaches,” Miller said.
If any funds are left over, the Corps will start inching its way up the channel and start on a section dubbed the main channel north, where there is 80,000 cubic yards of material to dredge. The area is adjacent to the Balboa Yacht Club mooring field and the B field.
“We’ll get as far as we can given the funds we have,” Miller said at the meeting.
The material from the main channel north is fine-grain sand and would be deposited in LA-3, which is a site about 6 miles from the harbor entrance designated for disposal of clean material which is too fine-grain to make it up onto beaches.
The Corps will begin advertising the project in August and award a contract in September. The project is anticipated to begin in October or November with completion in March 2021.
This dredging project will be a precursor to a larger, harbor-wide dredging project which, if approved and funded, could begin as early as 2021. A Corps survey estimated about 1 million cubic yards of material needs to be dredged from the Lower Bay. About 100,000 cubic yards is estimated to be unsuitable for ocean disposal and would need a safe disposal location. The entire dredging project has an estimated price tag of $23 million.
The Corps will also begin repairs to the east jetty adjacent to Corona del Mar State Beach in October or November. The project will focus on a 700-foot long portion of the jetty. It includes work to repair the 12-foot wide concrete boardwalk and increase the height and the width of the rock revetment, which currently spans 15-feet wide and is about 2 feet below the concrete boardwalk. The work will bring the rock revetment to a similar height as the boardwalk.
“It’s just not in good shape, this is a pretty old walkway, it gets the brunt of every storm it seems and it just needs repair,” Miller said.
The beach will remain open during the work but a staging area on the sand will be blocked off to beach goers.