Housatonic River Maintenance Dredging
Maintenance dredging of the lower portion of the Lower Housatonic River Federal Navigation Channel in Stratford and Milford, Connecticut began in October 2017. The Lower Housatonic serves as Stratford’s Harbor. The river was last dredged in November 2012 when ~50,000 yards of shoal material were removed. Because the dredged sand was tested and found “clean,” this project was able to use the dredged materials as beach renourishment. Work finished almost a month ahead of schedule thanks to good weather throughout the fall months.
This is the largest state-funded dredging project in Connecticut’s history. The $9.4 million needed for the project was initially provided by the state Bond Commission and managed by the Conn. Port Authority. The USACE was the implementing agency. The Stratford Waterfront & Harbor Management Commission served as the local managing agency in coordination with the Corps of Engineers.
- CASHMAN removed over 270,000 cubic yards of clean fine grain sand from the federal navigation channel downriver of the Washington Bridge. The dredged sand was then barged to Hammonasset State Park for use as beach nourishment.
- Dredging restored the channel to its authorized depth of 18 feet, and 200 feet wide, from south of Goose Island to beyond the end of the breakwater at the mouth of the river.
- CASHMAN used a total of eight vessels working 24/7 to complete this project: a hopper dredge, bucket dredge, two barges, three tugboats, and a boat to pump the sand onto the beach.
- The project serves as a model for other dredging programs by not only providing safe navigation, but also by using the dredge material beneficially for beach nourishment, thereby avoiding disposal in Long Island Sound.