Friday, September 26, 2014

Flotilla of machinery involved in $200M Miami Harbor dredge

A mile offshore from Miami, a 305-foot dredge called Texas owned by Great Lakes Dredge & Dock is deepening the Miami harbor so it can handle the megaships that will begin transiting the expanded Panama Canal in early 2016.

A groups of tugs, a scow and a spider barge are also part of the operation.

Great Lakes plans to complete the $205.8 million job to deepen PortMiami’s shipping lanes from 44 to 52 feet by mid-2015, about six months before the Panama Canal expansion is scheduled to be operational.

Aboard the Texas the sound of a rotating cutter-head biting into the limestone seabed filled the ship. An underwater pump sucked up the loosened material and sent it through a large floating hose connected to a spider barge, which shot the slurry into a waiting scow. After each scow is full, a tug hauls about 21 miles from the Miami sea buoy and the dredged material is dumped, according to Chris Pomfret, the project manager for Great Lakes.

The dredge is a 24-hour operation and about 140 people are currently working on the project.

For more of the Miami Herald story:

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