SAVANNAH, Ga. — As part of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, dredging for the outer harbor began Sept. 10 onboard the cutter head dredge Alaska. The vessel is situated approximately four miles offshore from Tybee Island in the entrance channel to Savannah harbor.
Alaska's three-section crew will work around the clock until a pair of hopper dredges, which are more mobile and efficient, begin dredging in December because of restrictions due to the local turtle population.
As the cutter head dredges, material moves up through the ladder pump to the main pump. The main pump pushes dredged material off the cutter head dredge through floating pipes to a spider barge, which disperses the material into scow vessels.
Tugboats move scow vessels laden with dredged material to an EPA-designated disposal site, where the material is released. The tugboat then returns the empty scow vessel to the slot next to the spider barge, where it is filled with more dredged material.