Army Corps begins dredging in Cape Henry Channel to support ports of Virginia, Baltimore

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Crews search for the drive of a box truck that went off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel on Dec. 20, 2020. (Photos via Virginia Beach Fire Department)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and contractors have started a dredging project that will remove about 2.36 million cubic yards of material from the Cape Henry Federal Navigation Channel.

According to an Army Corps news release, work for the $14.8 million contract began recently in the channel, which is at the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay.

Those involved in the work include the Army Corps, Baltimore District, and San Rafael, California-based contractor, The Dutra Group.

The work is part of the larger Baltimore Harbor and Channels Project, which aims to support the ports of Baltimore and Virginia. The dredging is needed to ensure continued safe navigation for ships going to and from the ports.

The channel must be 51 feet deep plus 1 foot of “allowable overdepth.

Dutra Group’s Stuyvesant hopper dredge, one of the largest hopper dredges in the U.S., will complete the work.

Much of the material that will be removed will be mud, silt, sand, and shell. The material will be brought to the Dam Neck Ocean Placement Site, the same deposit location as other dredging projects in the channel.

“In addition to the dredge, the equipment required for this work commonly consists of one or more 4,500 – 8,500 cubic yard hopper dredges – a drag barge, a crew vessel, and a survey vessel,” the Army Corps wrote in a news release.

The work is expected to be done by late spring 2022.

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