Annual dredging of Port Gardner and Snohomish River to begin soon

EVERETT — A federal contractor is expected to soon start dredging part of Port Gardner and the Snohomish River, an annual task to keep the river’s boat channel and Everett’s seaport free of silt.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is managing the $1.1 million project with support from the Port of Everett. The work is being paid for with federal tax dollars.

Dredging will be done in two areas — called settling basins — where dirt washed downstream by the Snohomish River tends to collect. The lower area is by the port’s marina boat launch. The upstream basin is on the Snohomish River east of the I-5 bridge.

The contractor, HME Construction Inc., of Vancouver, Washington, will use a clamshell bucket to remove about 70,000 cubic yards of sediment. That is enough material to fill about 1,567 small U-Haul moving trucks.

HME Construction is set to start staging equipment this week. Dredging is expected to start by the end of October and wrap up by mid-February, said Lisa Lefeber, a Port of Everett spokeswoman.

It is an annual task that has been done for decades. Without it, the seaport and boat channels would fill with silt.

There was no major flooding on the Snohomish River this year, so less sediment has to be removed, she said.

Dredged material will be dumped at a designated spot in Port Gardner, according to the project plan.

In the past, dredged material has been used to create and expand Jetty Island, a popular spot to relax on sunny summer days.

Boaters should go slow and watch out for dredging equipment while the work is going on.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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