U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge Port of Rochester this summer

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District has awarded a 1.5 million contract to conduct dredging in the federal navigation channel and harbor areas of Rochester Harbor during spring and early summer 2019. (Photo: Shaina Souder / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Dredging will begin in the coming weeks in the Port of Rochester and surrounding harbor.

The Buffalo District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday it awarded a $1.5 million contract to a Michigan-based company to dredge in the federal navigation channel and harbor areas of the harbor. Work is slated to begin later this month and continue through the early summer.

The last time the harbor was dredged was over the course of two years, ending in 2016. Federal officials said 390,000 cubic yards of sediment material was removed from the harbor to allow commercial and citizen vessels to travel more safely through the harbor and channel in the Rochester harbor.

The Genesee River channel has an authorized depth of 23 feet at the entrance and 21 feet throughout the channel.

“The Port of Rochester, home to over 1,000 boat slips, dozens of charter boats, restaurants, and businesses injects over $10 million a year into the Rochester economy and supports about 140 jobs,” Senator Chuck Schumer said.

So what determines how frequently the harbor is dredged? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers schedules dredging every other year in Rochester. However, if the funds are not made available by the federal government, dredging will not take place.

This year, Ryba Marine Construction Company will do the dredging.

More than 83,000 tons in commercial goods are shipped and received each year through the Rochester harbor.