River dredging planned at Germantown

GERMANTOWN–The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans maintenance dredging this year in the North Germantown Reach, a deep-draft channel of the Hudson River.

The maintenance dredging, last done in 2001, involves the removal of about 150,000 to 200,000 cubic yards of material, at a budgeted cost of $2.1 million during federal Fiscal Year 2012.

The goal is to restore full channel dimensions for the ocean-going ships that use the channel to and from the Port of Albany. That port is the 61st busiest in the nation, and the channel carries an average annual commercial cargo tonnage of 7.6 million tons.

Material from the dredging will be placed upland at a federally owned placement site on Houghtaling Island, an island upriver that lies mostly in the Town of New Baltimore, Greene County.

The material is primarily sediment–most of it sand–a natural erosion that comes from the north, said Chris Gardner, an ACOE spokesperson. “The sampling, shows no elevated levels of any toxins,” he said.

Finalization of environmental clearances and plans and specifications for the dredging are ongoing. The ACOE expects to award a contract for the work later this year, according to a press release, and Mr. Gardner could not be more specific. Dredging is not a simple project, he noted: “You have to determine what there is to remove, the best way to remove it and what you’re going to do with it.”

More information about the New York District of the ACOE can be found online at nan.usace.army.mil.

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