2016-04-14 / Community News

Saco River dredging could happen after plan was rejected

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a 30-day public notice to announce its intention to perform maintenance dredging of the Saco River Federal Navigation Project. The public notice is intended to provide information and seek comments about the Army Corp’s proposal and project plan.

“We’re thrilled to see forward progress on this project,” said Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant. “Although the Appropriations Committee did not include the Saco River or Biddeford Pool/ Wood Island projects in the Army Corp’s 2016/2017 work plan, the release of this public notice is evidence that we’re still a high priority project for the regional office and that we’re on their radar screen.”

The proposed work involves dredging approximately 150,000 cubic yards of sand from an area roughly 77 acres to restore the federal navigation project to authorized dimensions. The work is expected to take approximately two and a half to three and a half months to complete during fall and winter, once funding has been approved.

The cities of Biddeford and Saco are in the process of preparing a joint letter to request funding for maintenance dredging in the 2017/2017 work plan. The letter will be submitted to the Army Corp at the end of April. A funding announcement is not expected until February 2017.

“I encourage anyone affected by dredging activities to review the public notice and submit comments to the Army Corps by April 29,” Casavant said. “We also intend to request a formal public hearing with the Army Corps to allow citizens the opportunity to weigh in on the dredging plan. The Saco River is a significant asset that provides far reaching economic impact in the region. It is important to balance the project’s economic factors with environmental concerns to protect the resource for future generations.”

Return to top