By Shaina SouderMay 10, 2019
Buffalo, NY - 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.
The contract was awarded to Ryba Marine Construction Company, based in Cheboygan, Michigan on March 21, 2019. The contractor is anticipated to begin work in late May to early June 2019 with dredging to be performed throughout the federal navigation channel.
"The Port of Rochester, home to over 1000 boat slips, dozens of charter boats, restaurants, and businesses injects over $10 million a year into the Rochester economy and supports about 140 jobs," said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. "I was proud to fight to secure these federal dredging funds because ensuring the Rochester Harbor navigation channel is dredged and maintained is vital to protect Rochester jobs and economic development."
This contract award will allow federal dredging to occur for the first time since the 2017 dredging was completed when a two-year, $1.7 million dredging project was completed in Rochester Harbor removing a total of 390,000 cubic yards of sediment material to allow for safer passage of commercial and recreational traffic.
"The Port of Rochester is an important navigation channel that connects commercial and recreational boating activities from the Great Lakes to the Rochester community, helps drive tourism, and contributes to the local economy," said Senator Gillibrand. "Dredging is important to maintaining and improving Rochester Harbor's infrastructure. This project will help ensure that ships and boats can continue to safely navigate the harbor, and I'm glad that this project is moving forward."
The frequency of dredging in Rochester is subject to the availability of funds and when sufficient funding is in place. The Corps of Engineers schedules dredging every other year for Rochester Harbor in order to maintain federally authorized depths. The Genesee River channel has an authorized depth of 23 feet at the entrance and 21 feet throughout the channel.
"The dredging of the Rochester Harbor is critical to ensure the safety of our waterways and maximize the full commercial, recreational, and economic potential of our lakefront," said Congressman Joseph D. Morelle. "I am grateful to the Army Corps for their partnership and dedication to improving our harbor infrastructure."
Rochester Harbor is a receiving and shipping port on the Great Lakes supporting more than 83,000 tons transported annually. It generates $7.4 million in economic benefits.
"This contract award for Rochester Harbor will continue safe navigation for commercial and recreational vessels while opening the doors to greater commercial traffic," said Lt. Col. Jason Toth, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District commander. "We are grateful for the advocacy of Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and Representative Morelle, as well as other state and local partners, who have worked hard to secure funding for the effort. We look forward to assisting the community with any future projects to improve harbor infrastructure."