OCEANSIDE — Dredging in Oceanside Harbor has been on pause since April 26. Despite delays it’s believed annual operations to remove up to 300,000 cubic yards of sand from the harbor entrance channel will be completed by Memorial Day.
To date about 60,000 cubic yards of sand have been dredged and placed on city beaches.
The Army Corps of Engineers contracted Manson Construction to do this year’s dredging for $3.5 million. The company has successfully dredged the harbor in previous years and uses robust equipment.
Although the company has esteemed credentials, high, consistent waves have caused operations to pause several times since dredging began.
The latest shutdown was for weather and a damaged piece of equipment. Operations will resume depending on when seas calm and equipment can be repaired.
If the equipment can be repaired quickly, dredging operations may be up and running on May 9, otherwise delays could continue for weeks. Nonetheless the company is believed to be able to make up for lost time once operations restart.
“A piece of equipment got knocked off the dredge, it may have an impact on when to start dredging again,” Greg Fuderer, Army Corps senior public affairs specialist, said. “If the part needs to be ordered it may take two weeks. The completion date will not change.”
Last year’s dredging by CJW Construction Company, began later in the year and saw numerous weather shutdowns and equipment repair delays. Work was not completed until Oct. 31, 2016.
The smaller company, with smaller equipment, was limited by how much sand it could move.
The city complained about delayed work, dredge pipes and equipment having a negative impact on the summer tourist season and planned beach and harbor events.
This year a revised contract allowed Army Corps to look beyond the lowest qualifying bid in making its hire.
“The lowest price technically acceptable contract gives us more latitude in making a determination on who we think will best provide required services at a competitive price,” Fuderer said.
Manson Construction was selected as the best company for the job. The Army Corps and city stand confident work will get done on time.
“We’re optimistic we can meet our goal,” Fuderer said. “We’re committed to be off the beach by Memorial Day.”
Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood also expressed trust that work will be completed on time.
“We were told that there were mechanical problems, we’ll give them that,” Wood said. “It looks like it’s going pretty good, better than the past year.”
Operations will ensure a 25-foot clearance for boats.
Sand has been placed 500 feet south of North Coast Village, and will continue to be added to beaches further south.