US Army Corps of Engineers
Baltimore District

Army Corps crews dredge nearly 2.6 million cubic yards of material from six Baltimore Harbor channels

Published May 9, 2019
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Geoffrey Kuhlman looks on aboard an Army Corps contracted dredge operated by Norfolk Dredging as a load of material is pulled from the bottom of Curtis Bay Channel in Baltimore Harbor Tuesday March 19, 2019 as part of maintenance dredging of channels associated with the Baltimore Harbor and Channels Project. Curtis Bay Channel was one of six dredged during the Fiscal Year 2019 maintenance cycle, during which crews removed nearly 2.6 million cubic yards of material from channels to ensure continued safe navigation for vessels traveling to and from Port of Baltimore facilities.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Geoffrey Kuhlman looks on aboard an Army Corps contracted dredge operated by Norfolk Dredging as a load of material is pulled from the bottom of Curtis Bay Channel in Baltimore Harbor Tuesday March 19, 2019 as part of maintenance dredging of channels associated with the Baltimore Harbor and Channels Project. Curtis Bay Channel was one of six dredged during the Fiscal Year 2019 maintenance cycle, during which crews removed nearly 2.6 million cubic yards of material from channels to ensure continued safe navigation for vessels traveling to and from Port of Baltimore facilities.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracted dredge operated by Norfolk Dredging lifts material out of Curtis Bay Channel in Baltimore Harbor Tuesday March 19, 2019 as part of maintenance dredging of channels associated with the Baltimore Harbor and Channels Project. Curtis Bay Channel was one of six dredged during the Fiscal Year 2019 maintenance cycle, during which crews removed nearly 2.6 million cubic yards of material from channels to ensure continued safe navigation for vessels traveling to and from Port of Baltimore facilities.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracted dredge operated by Norfolk Dredging lifts material out of Curtis Bay Channel in Baltimore Harbor Tuesday March 19, 2019 as part of maintenance dredging of channels associated with the Baltimore Harbor and Channels Project. Curtis Bay Channel was one of six dredged during the Fiscal Year 2019 maintenance cycle, during which crews removed nearly 2.6 million cubic yards of material from channels to ensure continued safe navigation for vessels traveling to and from Port of Baltimore facilities.

BALTIMORE – Crews finished the dredging of nearly 2.6 million cubic yards of material this April from shipping channels leading to the Port of Baltimore as part of a contract managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District. 

The work is part of the regular maintenance of the multiple channels that go from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia all the way into Baltimore Harbor that require periodic dredging to ensure continued safe navigation for vessels going in and out of the Port of Baltimore.

This most recent work involved dredging material from six federal channels in Maryland waters that are associated with the Port of Baltimore including the Curtis Bay Channel, Craighill Entrance, Craighill Channel, Craighill Angle, Craighill Upper Range, and Cutoff Angle segments.

The channels were dredged to a depth of 51 feet plus one to two feet of allowable overdepth. Work was completed in April.

“Whether people realize it or not, the Port of Baltimore is one of the key economic engines for Baltimore, the state of Maryland and really the whole region, and maintaining shipping channels like we’re doing with this work is extremely important,” said Baltimore District Commander Col. John Litz. “We’re happy to be able to carry out dredging on six channels this year coordinating closely with our partners in the Maryland Port Administration to maintain the depths of these vital channels and ensure the Port of Baltimore can continue to serve the region.”

According to the MPA, the state-owned public terminals at the Port of Baltimore handled more containers, cars, construction equipment, and other types of general cargo than ever before in 2018. A record 10.9 million tons of general cargo was handled at the Port last year, the third consecutive year exceeding the 10 million ton mark. The 2018 surge in general cargo at the state-owned public terminals of the Port of Baltimore puts the public and private terminals combined of the Port of Baltimore on target for more records in 2018. Recent study, conducted by Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, shows record numbers for the public and private terminals in 2017.

“There has been no better example of Maryland being open for business than the Port of Baltimore,” said Governor Larry Hogan in an MPA statement. “As one of our leading economic engines, the Port generates good-paying, family-supporting jobs for tens of thousands of Marylanders and will continue to create more jobs and economic benefits for our state.”  

The recently completed dredging was done through a roughly $24.6 million contract awarded to Norfolk Dredging of Virginia. 

The approximately 2,583,000 cubic yards of material consists primarily of mud, silt, sand, shell, and mixtures thereof and is being placed at two sites. 

Approximately 500,000 cubic yards of material from the Curtis Bay Channel is being placed at the Masonville Dredged Material Containment Facility (DMCF), located in Anne Arundel County.

Approximately 2.1 million cubic yards of material dredged from Chesapeake Bay channels, including the Craighill Entrance, Craighill Channel, Craighill Angle, Craighill Upper Range, and the Cutoff Angle channels, will be beneficially reused at the Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Project at Poplar Island, located in the eastern Chesapeake Bay near Tilghman Island in Talbot County, Maryland.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers anticipates also awarding an additional dredging contract later this year for the removal of material from the York Spit Channel, an approach channel for the Port of Baltimore in Virginia waters of the Chesapeake Bay.