Army Corps to hold public information meeting on Searsport Harbor dredging

Feb 14, 2014

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, and the Maine Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting  Feb. 24 in Bangor on the proposal for maintenance and improvement dredging of Searsport Harbor . The Maine DOT is the non-Federal sponsor for the USACE Feasibility study.

The purpose of meeting is to inform the public of the project proposal and its anticipated environmental impacts and to inform the public on opportunities for public comment to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

The meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 24, at the Cross Insurance Center at 515 Main St. in Bangor. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m.

In response to a resolution of Congress dated July 26, 2000, the USACE New England District in partnership with the Maine Department of Transportation, Maine Port Authority, has undertaken a feasibility study of navigation improvements to the existing Federal Navigation Project at Searsport Harbor.

The selected project would deepen the existing entrance channel and turning basin from a depth of -35 feet to -40 feet at mean low water. In addition, the entrance channel, currently 500 feet wide at its narrowest point, would be widened to 650 feet, and a maneuvering area adjacent to State Pier's east berth in Long Cove would be created. Dredged material would be disposed at the identified disposal site in Penobscot Bay. With the proposed project, deep draft vessels would be able to access the port more efficiently, and transportation costs for goods arriving at the port would be reduced.

Comments (5)
Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Feb 15, 2014 13:14

I am confused.....In public hearings last year, the testimony at the DCP hearings was that there was enough draft for mega tankers for DCP to bring in LPG.  This dredging project which was in the works back during those testimonies is stating there is not.  Which way is it ACOE and Coast Guard?  Were you lying to us then, or are you lying to us now?  We need honesty to make sure you are spending our overly taxed wallets efficiently.

Just as a side note.......could you please deposit the spoils where our tax dollars won't need to re-dredge them 5-10 years from now?  Seems like the deposits from the Belfast dredge were dumped out in the Bay so that a gale from the southwest would dump the silts right into Searsport Harbor?  Can you dredge the silts out so they end up on land and monitored for mercury etc.?

One last question.......Is this the same agency(ACOE) that controlled the levy project in New Orleans?

Posted by: Diana B Hyk | Feb 15, 2014 10:11

Bangor will be convenient for the Army Corps of Engineers and their host David Cole, it will difficult for people from the islands to attend. If this dredging goes through almost one million cubic yards of contaminated spoils  from GAC will be dumped onto the rich lobster fisheries of Penobscot Bay  just off Belfast and Rockland. The lobster catch ( at the dock ) contributes $157million dollars to our region, do we want to risk this valuable  resource? The venue for the Meeting must be changed so that those most affected can attend the Meeting. This newspaper only a few days ago stated that Searsport High School was the likely ( and logical) site.

Christopher Hyk

Posted by: Ann J. Flack | Feb 15, 2014 09:52

It's ironic that the RJ chose to a photo of Searsport's Union Hall to illustrate the report of the  DOT and ACOE's choice of  Bangor for an informational meeting on the expansion dredging of Upper Penobscot Bay.

They must reconsider and reschedule this meeting at a time a place where stakeholders are able to attend without hardship at worst or inconvenience at best.

Posted by: Nancy-Linn Nellis | Feb 15, 2014 08:13

Remember - this is your taxpayer dollars - paying for something that will only benefit 2 privately held foreign corporations - Sprague & Irving - so that they may bring in or take out larger ships - thereby making more money.

It shall most probably put many a lobster or fisherman out of business .

It shall rake up the muck that GAC has been tossing into the waters for lo these many years before laws changed- and it is the most expansive dredging EVER  proposed


Maine DOT and the ACoE in cahoots?

Your tax dollars hard at work - helping Foreign Corporations put local people out of work!

Posted by: Nancy-Linn Nellis | Feb 15, 2014 07:48

People - particularly Lobstermen from the Vinyl Haven area ought to get damned made about this.


First - it is being held in Bangor - Penobscot Bay is not in Bangor nor vice versa.


Second - its being held at night - meaning anyone from the islands MUST spend the overnight or take a very expensive water taxi back.


Third - its a dog & pony show to keep us away thereby showing that it has no public interest - where in it has everyone in and around the Bay infuriated.


The ACoE - trying to pull the wool over our eyes - once again.


This meeting should be held in the day time either in Belfast or Rockland at the convenience of the tax payers - namely the residents of the Bay.


Speak up, folks.  Rise up against this despicable action by the Bureaucrats - the ACoE.



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