GALVESTON, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District awarded a contract in the amount of $8,054,750 to Orion Marine Inc., to perform maintenance dredging within the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, specifically from the inner basin (lower bay) to Beacon 82 (upper bay) and the La Quinta Junction and channel, in Nueces County, Texas.<br /> <br /> The contractor is required to remove approximately two million cubic yards of shoaled material from the channel reaches to provide sufficient channel depth for the transit of deep-draft vessels. The dredge material will be placed in various open water and upland placement areas adjacent to the channel reaches. <br /> <br /> “This maintenance dredging contract schedule was accelerated by approximately two months in order to remove critical shoaling within the upper bay reach of the ship channel and at the La Quinta Junction,” said Operations Manager Paula Rankin Wise, USACE Galveston District. "The removal of the La Quinta Junction shoaling is currently restricting the Big Foot deepwater oil platform from transiting through the La Quinta Channel to its offshore location. The accelerated schedule will ensure the mobilization of the Big Foot platform is not delayed.” <br /> <br /> According to Wise, Aransas-Corpus Christi pilots’ imposed vessel draft restrictions at the upper bay reach are impacting the Port of Corpus Christi and it customers, coupled with increased traffic and congestion caused by the Eagle Ford Shale production.<br /> <br /> Work is scheduled to begin this month with an estimated completion date of May 2014.<br /> <br /> The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. The district is directly responsible for maintaining more than 1,000 miles of channel, including 250 miles of deep draft and 750 miles of shallow draft as well as the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates.<br /> <br /> Learn more about the Texas coast at http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Missions/TexasCoastValuetotheNation.aspx. For news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.