Page 14: of Marine News Magazine (March 2016)
Push boats, Tugs & Assist Vessels
INSIGHTS and reduce risks from disasters. Additionally, USACE has ity of dredging projects accomplished by USACE are per- nine division or regional of? ces; 43 district of? ces; six formed by private industry dredges. The rule of thumb is main engineering, research and development, ? nance, and that about 85% of the dredging is performed by contracts, technical centers; the 249th Engineer Battalion; and the the other 15% by USACE-owned dredges. For FY14 - the 412th and 416th Theater Engineer Commands. USACE latest year we have ? nalized data – it was 91% of expen- primary Civil Works missions are Navigation, Flood Risk ditures for dredging was by contract, the other 9% was by
Management, and Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, but USACE-owned dredges. While most of our lock opera- we also have important Hydropower, Emergency Man- tions and some maintenance is performed with in-house agement, Environmental Stewardship, Recreation, Water forces, a signi? cant portion of our coastal and inland navi-
Supply, and Regulatory missions. gation work on structures is performed by contract.
What is the primary source for your mariners - mili- One issue today facing some waterways is that US- tary, merchant marine or a healthy mix of both? ACE funding is (primarily) based on tonnage num- bers alone. Some of the smaller waterways – AIWA
USACE primary navigation responsibilities include for example, directly parallel to I-95 and potentially planning and constructing new navigation channels and a valuable shortsea shipping corridor, say that they locks and dams, and dredging to maintain channel depths can’t get the tonnage if they don’t have the mainte- at U.S. harbors and on inland waterways. We operate and nance dredging to maintain draft. What can be done maintain 12,000 miles of inland and intracoastal water- to change that metric?
ways and navigable channels, including 192 commercial
There are many factors that are evaluated when funding lock and dam sites, and we are responsible for ports and wa- projects including project conditions, commercial marine terways in 41 states. In partnership with local port authori- traf? c, subsistence harbors, harbors of refuge, commercial ties, USACE personnel oversee dredging and construction projects at hundreds of ports and harbors at an average ? shing, public transportation (passenger ferries), energy generation and consumption, and use by other Federal or annual cost of more than $1 billion. USACE dredges more state agencies. than 250 million cubic yards of material each year to keep the nation’s waterways navigable. Much of this dredged
Tell our readers what the biggest priority for USACE material is reused for environmental restoration projects going forward in 2016?
including the creation of wetlands.
From a Navigation perspective, it is critical to keep the
Federal navigation channels, waterways, and locks open to
Tell us about the USACE ? eet? How many vessels do you provide for the safe and reliable movement of commercial operate and how many of those are dedicated dredges?
vessels, as well as meeting commercial navigation demands in
USACE owns and operates approximately 2,900 vessels, the future. This, of course, needs to be performed in an en- ranging from skiffs to tugs barges, to self-propelled ocean- going hopper dredges. Of these, there are eleven dredges vironmentally acceptable, cost effective and ef? cient manner. consisting of a mix of hopper, dustpan, sidecasting, spe-
What’s the most signi? cant challenge to the USACE cial purpose, and cutterhead dredges (Yaquina, Essayons, in 2016 – is that aligned with your biggest priority?
Wheeler, McFarland, Murden, Merritt, Goetz, Hurley, Jad-
And, looking ? ve years down the road, will those chal- win, Potter, and Currituck).
lenges remain the same?
The most signi? cant challenge is the asset management
What percentage of your funding goes towards proj- of aging infrastructure including locks, dams and naviga- ects that are primarily (if not totally) accomplished by tion channels due to the age of the facilities for prior fund- the Corps internally and what percentage do you sub ing limitations.
out to others?
Public Law 95-269 (1978) requires the Secretary of the
I understand that the Corps is trying to improve its
Army to have dredging and related work done by contract data collection at lock sites. This is important to in- if the Secretary determines private industry has the capa- dustry, but why is it also important to the Corps?
bility to do such work and it can be done at a reasonable
In order to most ef? ciently maintain USACE locks and price and in a timely manner. To carry out emergency and dams, it is important that there is relevant, accurate data to national defense work the Secretary shall retain only the help guide investments in our existing lock infrastructure minimum federally owned ? eet. Accordingly, the major- and determine the need for infrastructure improvements.
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