WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) today announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District, has awarded a $1.4 million contract for the maintenance dredging of Knapps Narrows Federal Navigation Channel near Tilghman Island. The Channel is a local economic driver used by watermen and other commercial vessels, as well as for recreational purposes. Last June, Senator Cardin wrote to the Senate Appropriations Committee leadership and Senator Van Hollen wrote the USACE to express their support for this project.
“Knapps Narrows Channel allows efficient movement among the mouths of Harris Creek, the Choptank River and Eastern Bay, making it important to a wide variety of commercial and recreational users. As such, we are wise to invest in its integrity,” said Senator Cardin, ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee. “In addition to ensuring safe passage for vessels, investments in the Channel help ensure that local economies flourish and Chesapeake Bay-dependent lifestyles persist.”
“This navigation project is vital to Maryland’s economy, and we worked hard to ensure it was funded at the federal level and prioritized in the USACE’s budget,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees. “By dredging the Channel, we will ensure both commercial and recreational boats are able to move easily across the Chesapeake Bay.”
The work, which is expected to begin this winter and be finished in the spring, will ensure continued safe navigation along the federal channel. The contract for the work was awarded to Southwind Construction of Evansville, Ind., and the dredging is being coordinated with the Maryland Department of Environment and Talbot County. The project will consist of the removal roughly 100,000 cubic yards of material from the Channel to restore it to its authorized depth of 9 feet (MLLW), plus two feet of allowable overdepth, and a width of 75 feet.