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Dredging material from the Calcasieu Ship Channel will be given to Axiall for wetlands restoration. (Special to the American Press)

Dredging material from the Calcasieu Ship Channel will be given to Axiall for wetlands restoration. (Special to the American Press)

Calcasieu River dredging to begin this fall

Last Modified: Thursday, July 10, 2014 2:28 PM

By Frank DiCesare / American Press

Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers met with residents in south Lake Charles on Wednesday to discuss their plans to dredge 20 miles of the Calcasieu River, a two-phase project slated to begin this fall.

Tracy Falk, operations manager of the Corps’ Calcasieu River and Pass Operations Division, said the first phase of the river’s dredging will likely begin this fall at mile five and move north to mile 15. The estimated six-month project will be followed by phase two in which miles 15 through 25 will be dredged in 2015.  

Falk, who presented the Corps’ plans at the Lake Charles Coastal Conservation Association’s State of the Lake meeting at Prien Lake Park, said opening bids for phase one of the river’s dredging will go out this month.

“If the bid is opened this month, we would award it in August and then dredging would start as soon as September or October, depending on the contract and schedules,” she said. 

Falk said she could not estimate how much it would cost to dredge miles five through 15. She said the Corps’ average annual dredging budget is between $15 million and $16 million.

The Corps hopes to award the contract for miles 15 through 25 by early next summer, Falk added.

“But once it’s awarded, it could be another two to three months before the dredging actually starts because they have to get in and do some work on the disposal areas first,” she said. “That could be another six-month dredging project.”

Dredging along miles 15 though 25 may include the Devil’s Elbow, the entrance along the river that leads to the turnaround basin across from Trunkline LNG. Falk said the Devil’s Elbow is an area the Corps adds to all of its dredging contracts as an option. 

“Once we get the bids and we know how much funding we have and we also talk to the channel users and determine their needs for us to dredge it, if we have the funding we will dredge it.”

Posted By: Ruxton Istre On: 7/11/2014

Title: Where will the spoils be dropped?

If the spoils from the dredging are to accumulate on the East side, the west side of the ship channel will be made into a man-made flood plain. Again! That's one reason why the residents of Moss Lake were inundated with flood waters from Hurricane Ike. Maybe the ACoE could mandate the spoils be put on the western side of the ship channel to protect those people too.

Posted By: Gerald Cuvillier On: 7/11/2014

Title: Mr.

The next storm will push the storm surge all the way to Lake Charles. This will also inundate everything from Cameron, Hackberry, Big lake and Sweet Lake. I am sure glad I do not live down there anymore.

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