Thursday, November 20, 2008

Two dredging boats do dirty work in Suisun City waterways

Two dredging boats do dirty work in Suisun City waterways
By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | November 19, 2008

An worker with Nehalem River Dredging talks to a coworker on shore while getting ready to dredge the Suisun Slough Wednesday afternoon. The dredging process will last through December. Photo by Brad Zweerink

SUISUN CITY - The dredger Eland fired up its engines and got to work Wednesday, removing the first of what will be thousands of cubic feet of sludge and silt.

That is a welcome sound to Suisun City boaters such as Don Sefcik, whose 57-foot boat the Pollack XII grounds its keel in the mud when the tide goes out.

'I am pleased to see it and am looking forward to it doing the work,' Sefcik said.

The Eland is the larger of two dredging boats that will be on duty from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. six days a week to deepen the marina and Whispering Bay by a Dec. 31 deadline.

Both boats are owned by Roy D. Garren Construction of Roseburg, Ore., which brought them in last week and parked them next to the city-owned Pierce Island, where the dredging spoils will be deposited.

Boaters in the slough are asked watch out for the buoys and slow down. Depending on the water depth, the pipes through which the sludge travels from the dredgers to Pierce Island may not be very far below the surface of the water.

Dredging will start near the public boat launch and slowly proceed north toward the Harbor Plaza area.

The Suisun City Marina will remain open throughout the dredging. When dredging needs to be done around one section of the docks, the affected boats will be moved temporarily to another section.

Suisun City is spending $1.3 million for the dredging to maintain the viability of the boating channels. The city also got approval to extend the dredging deadline by a month to Dec. 31.

The city wants to deepen the center channel to about 8 feet at mean low tide. The last time the marina area was dredged six years ago, when about 120,000 cubic yards of silt were removed.

Very low tides have exposed the mud in some spots near the public boat launch on Kellogg Street, and buoys have been set out to mark shoals in the channel.

'This means better and safer boating because the water will be deeper,' Suisun City Harbor master Gus Barkas said. 'It is going to improve the boating here.'

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.