Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dredging of Mare Island Strait starts today

Dredging of Mare Island Strait starts today
By SARAH ROHRS/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 09/30/2008

Necessary to keep Vallejo's ferries afloat, the dredging of the Mare Island Strait gets underway today, a city official said.

The city last month awarded a $282,400 construction contract to Salt River Construction Corp. of Tiburon to dredge a portion of the waterway.

City Engineer David Kleinschmidt said crews will excavate about 7,000 cubic yards of sediment, primarily in and around the terminal.

"The last time it was dredged was about five years ago," Kleinschmidt said.

"It probably should have been dredged at the end of three years. We're probably a year late," he said.

The dredging is part of a terminal overhaul that began a few weeks ago when the contractor took the permanent ferry float to Oakland for maintenance and repair work.

A temporary boarding float and gangway were installed just south of the permanent terminal so that riders could get on and off the boats, and ferry operations could continue, Kleinschmidt said.

The dredging should take about eight days, he added.

After the sediment is removed, the permanent ferry float will be brought back from Oakland.

The dredged materials will be taken to the San Pablo Bay to a disposal area approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Project costs are covered through a federal capital grant of $800,000.

About $150,000 has already been spent preparing plans and obtaining permits, according to the city.

No money for the work is coming from Vallejo's cash-strapped general fund.

The remainder of the federal grant will help maintain the ferry fleet, Kleinschmidt said.

• E-mail Sarah Rohrs at srohrs@thnewsnet.com or call 553-6832.