News: USACE Galveston District partners with US Coast Guard to save time and money
Story by Sandra Arnold
GALVESTON, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard to provide maintenance dredging, construction oversight, environmental coordination and hydrographic surveying services for nine U.S. Coast Guard stations located along the Texas coast, increasing navigation safety while saving taxpayers thousands of dollars annually.
“After learning that the Coast Guard was having difficulty obtaining maintenance dredging contracts for their stations, we offered them our services,” said Operations Manager John Machol, USACE Galveston District Navigation Branch. “Having this partnership enables us to be proactive. We conduct periodic hydrographic surveys of their stations, tell them when they need to dredge, update their permits and put contracts in place to perform the maintenance dredging before it becomes a crisis.”
Previous to the partnership, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Civil Engineering Unit Miami was in charge of providing the planning, design, contracting, construction management oversight and dredging of the Texas-based stations’ waterways in support of Coast Guard missions.
"The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have a long history of outstanding partnership throughout all coastal regions of the United States, especially in the Galveston District,” said U.S. Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit Miami Cmdr. John Berry, commanding officer. “Our ability to coordinate efforts for environmental permitting, hydrographic surveys, maintenance dredging and construction oversight not only keeps waterways open for thousands of commercial and recreational mariners, but it allows Coast Guard vessels to safely navigate in and around our stations located along the Texas coast. This collaborative effort effectively saves taxpayer dollars by streamlining resources and increasing navigational safety while ensuring that Coast Guard vessels are able to conduct critical missions like search and rescue and law enforcement.”
According to Machol, incorporating U.S. Coast Guard dredging requirements into the district’s regularly scheduled federal channel dredging cycles will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in mobilization costs alone.
“This was the first time the district executed a support agreement with the Coast Guard to dredge and maintain one of their channels along the Texas coast,” said Machol. “The first job we tackled was USCG Station South Padre Island, where sand deposits in the boat basin inhibited their cutter from reaching the dock, requiring the Coast Guard to divert to Corpus Christi, several hours away from the crew’s families in Port Isabel. It was a hardship that adversely impacted the Coast Guard’s mission.”
With the support agreement in place, the district surveyed the basin and the adjacent placement area, developed plans and specifications, and awarded a contract to Goodloe Marine Inc. to dredge the 40,000-square feet basin to the authorized 10 feet depth to allow vessels to dock at U.S. Coast Guard Station South Padre Island.
“The partnership is a key component to preserving our national security, and we’re interested in continuing this mutually beneficial relationship with the Coast Guard for many years to come,” said Machol.
With its rich heritage in Texas history, the USACE Galveston District continues to play a key role in America’s well-being by keeping waterways open for navigation and commerce and providing vital public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen the nation’s security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters.
For more information about the district’s navigation mission visit http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation.aspx.
For news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil.
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