Charles River Dredging – A 24 Hour Operation

In January of 2016, Charter was awarded the job of dredging a section of the Charles River located at the Fenway drainage outflow where a large portion of Boston’s drainage system comes together and outflows into the River. Last dredged in 1922, the continued buildup of sediment in the area over the past 100+ years created an environmental issue as well as a navigational nightmare.

This project came with significant complexities and challenges. The Charter Team had a tight window to complete all in water dredging activities. The EPA and DES restrictions due to the fish spawning season, as well as the practice schedules for the local college rowing teams left four days to execute the water work once the team mobilized to the site. To meet the tight schedule, Charter worked 24-hours a day, 7 days a week with two 7 to 8 employee crews, each working a 12-hour shift. In addition to the expedited schedule, Boston was hit with subzero temperatures and wind chill temps reaching minus 35 degrees below zero for three of the four days.

Space was also very limited at the dredge location. The only area large enough to accommodate the capacity needed for the containment area for this project was a parking lot 6,000 feet away from the dredge site. To reach the dredging location, Charter fused together 6,000 feet of 12” HDPE pipe in the parking lot and pulled it up the river with boats until it reached the dredge site where material was pumped from the dredge location to the containment area.

Over the four-day period, the Charter Team dredged 4,800 CY of sediment to deliver the river back to an environmentally and navigable safe zone. With two crews working on 12-hour back-to-back shifts, Charter successfully completed the project on schedule.

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