Sunday, January 6, 2008

Portland's Big Dig?

The PressHerald reports on Portland's silt problem, and the proposals to deal with it.
"The Dredge Committee is a subcommittee of the Waterfront Alliance, a group that includes government officials and business owners from Portland and South Portland.

It wants to dig a disposal hole in the ocean floor -- a 'contained aquatic disposal cell' -- for as much as 300,000 cubic yards, the equivalent of a 5-yard-deep layer of sediment on 12 football fields.

At least 100,000 cubic yards would come from dredging associated with two city-owned piers, the Maine State Pier and the pier at the Ocean Gateway passenger terminal.

Developed in the late 1990s, contained aquatic disposal cells have proven successful in other harbors, including Boston and Providence, R.I., said Tom Fredette, who monitors dredge disposal areas for the Army Corps of Engineers.

The bigger problem, Kachmar said, is raising the estimated $3 million it would cost to dig one."

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