OCEANSIDE — Annual harbor dredging operations, which clear built up sand out of the harbor entrance and deposit it onto city beaches, continue to see delays.
Dredging, which is usually completed by Memorial Day, did not start until June 6. Since operations began CJW Construction has seen challenges of high seas, holiday closures and smaller 16-inch pipe that has a limited work capacity.
City officials have called several face-to-face meetings with the Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the federal project, in order to address progress, safety concerns and beachfront homeowner complaints about equipment storage.
Army Corps continues to provide the city with weekly updates on work, which has been slow going.
Additional equipment was brought in July to help handle adverse weather conditions.
Last week a section of dredge pipe, which was previously patched, was spotted floating above the water with a leak, and was cut and soldered to make it secure.
While operations were up and running from Aug. 11 to Aug. 17, 35,000 cubic yards of sand was dredged, which is 8,500 cubic yards more than the previous week.
Sand deposits onto beaches continue to be monitored to ensure quality, operations flow and safety of beachgoers. Beach operations are now 100 yards north of the pier and will continue to move south.
“We’re looking at extending it (beach pipeline) in the next couple of days,” Greg Fuderer, Army Corps senior public affairs specialist, said.
Since operations began in June, there have been 31 days of active work as of Aug. 18.
Dredging is expected to shut down this week due to predicted high seas and again on Labor Day weekend, due to planned beach activities and larger crowds.
Work continues during windows of calm seas. On Aug. 18 dredging was underway while the crew kept an eye on weather conditions.
“Seas are anticipated to pick up today through Sunday, high seas are expected from 4 to 7 feet, which exceeds the range operations can dredge,” Fuderer said.
The estimate of sand dredged to date is 126,700 cubic yards of the contracted 260,000 cubic yards.
The updated completion date, first set for Aug. 2, is now Sept. 14.
Fuderer said Army Corps is already thinking about next year’s dredging operations, and how to head off problems experienced this year.
He added once operations are completed, there will be a clearer idea the of contractors’ overall performance, and issues and difficulties which need to be addressed.
The yearly dredging project is conducted to maintain federal channels within Oceanside Harbor at a safe navigation depth for vessels that use the channels.