Forked River Dredging Complete, Focus Now on Barnegat Bay

Nov 08, 2017

With a state-funded dredging project to maintain and ensure the safe navigation of the Forked River channels complete, the next phase, focusing on shallow navigational water courses near Barnegat Inlet, has already begun.

The dredge project in the Forked River channels, which included Forked River, Forked River Middle Branch and Spur, the South Spur and the channel known as the Elks Channel, began in August and was completed on schedule in September, according to Dan Triana, state Department of Transportation public information officer. The work is part of the $2.5 million project to dredge the Forked River and Barnegat Bay channels.

“The dredge spoils were hydraulically transported to the Oyster Creek confined disposal facility to drain,” Triana said, noting the CDF is the only available facility in the area where the state can place material dredged out of the Barnegat and Forked River channel complexes to drain. “Without it, the dredging project could not be completed and the navigable waterways could not be maintained.”

The next project includes Double Creek Mainland, Double Creek Inlet, High Bar Harbor and Barnegat Light Stake, located just off the municipal boat ramp. Dredging operations began last month and continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the end of December, the DOT announced earlier this fall.

“Channel use will be limited where the dredge is in operation and where the pipeline is carrying dredged material to its placement location. Channel closures are not expected, although this is subject to change,” according to the state agency.

Mariners should be advised that state aids to navigation will be removed as necessary for the duration of the project. All mariners, including those utilizing human-powered craft, should be especially alert to project pipeline routes and crossings. Updates to the Coast Guard’s local notice to mariners should be expected as the project progresses.

In March 2014, nearly 18 months after Superstorm Sandy, the DOT announced a comprehensive State Channel Dredging and Emergency Response Program to ensure and maintain safe navigation statewide, and to continue to be able to respond adequately to waterway impacts from named storms.  —G.G.S.

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