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Firm hired to dredge Broad Creek

The $670,000 project will be paid for with federal stimulus money.

by Larry S. Chowning

The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors learned this week that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract to Southwind Construction Corp. of Evansville, Indiana, to dredge Broad Creek in Deltaville.

The Indiana firm is currently under contract to dredge Winter Harbor and Queens Creek in Mathews County. “I suspect they will work Broad Creek into the mix of these other projects they have,” said Douglas Stamper of the Corps of Engineers in an email to county officials. 

Stamper did not indicate when the dredging will begin. “We will know more soon,” he wrote.

The Corps agreed in April 2009 to use $670,000 in federal stimulus funds to dredge Broad Creek. Over the past several years, the entrance to Broad Creek has slowly filled to the point where some boats have trouble getting through the channel.

In the past, the dredged water and materials from Broad Creek have been deposited at a county-owned spoil site near the creek. The discharge from the spoil site emptied into Big Lake, a small creek.

However, during this year’s application process, the Corps was told by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that it could not discharge into Big Lake.

So, for this dredging of Broad Creek, there will be two pipelines running across the property of Norview Marina to the spoil site. One pump and pipeline will take water and dredge material from Broad Creek, and another will remove the water from the spoil site and take it back to Broad Creek.

Once dredging is complete, the spoil site will be drained and the pumps removed. The rainwater discharge into the spoil site will drain naturally into Big Lake.

In an earlier November 10 email, Stamper reported, “There have been some concerns by Norview people and adjoining marinas about the proposed location of the outflow (pipe). It was planned to come out over top of a small sandy beach area, and they were concerned about the possibility of the sand shifting back into their privately-dredged channels.

“They also were concerned about people approaching their marinas and seeing water gushing out of a pipe and not knowing where it was coming from,” wrote Stamper.

“It was suggested that the pipe be moved to a location in a cove area where it would not be as visible to the visiting public and where the shifting sand would not be an issue,” wrote Stamper.

The Corps real estate division is working on a short-term easement to address the issue, said Stamper. This may require an additional easement from Norview Marina.

Supervisors voted at their November 17 meeting to appropriate no more than $700 to cover any legal fees sustained by Norview Marina to cover legal costs associated with a review of documents for the issuance of a temporary easement.

posted 11.24.2009

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