Charlestown Breachway dredging project complete

Photo courtesy: RI Coastal Resources Management Council

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – Vessels can once again pass safely in and out of the Charlestown Breachway and Ninigret Pond.

Last week, crews removed 212 cubic yards of boulders and dredged material.

The $300,000 project was paid for with money from the town, state, and federal government.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency provided post-Sandy relief funds.

During Superstorm Sandy last year, many rocks and small boulders tumbled from the breakwater into the channel, posing navigational hazards for vessels.

Many of the boulders were too large to be deposited back on the break water, or even lifted onto the barge, and were moved just off the beach on the west side of the breakwater in approximately eight feet of water, creating additional fish habitat.

Those small enough for an excavator to lift were put back on the breakwater.

Dredging began Wednesday night, and crews were under a tight deadline to finish the work before the weather deteriorated at the end of the week.

Prior to dredging, areas of the channel were at some points four feet deep or less. The dredging and boulder removal will bring the channel depth to a much-safer 6-7 feet.

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