Difficulties associated with a recent attempt to remove tons of excess sand from navigational channels at Marina del Rey turned it into "the worst dredging project that we had on the coast this year," a top official from the Army Corps of Engineers told the county last week.
Lt. Col. Norman Jackson, deputy commander of the corps' Los Angeles district, was called before the Small Craft Harbor Commission to explain problems encountered in the dredging, which took place in February and March. The corps funded the work through a $1.1-million contract with a private company.
Dredging every few years removes sand that accumulates in the navigational channels at the marina.
County officials are unhappy with the work done earlier this year by a Richmond, Calif.-based company, Dredge Master Associates. Dredge Master had a number of unexpected mechanical problems that slowed work and reduced the amount of sand that could be removed from the bottom of the marina, federal officials said.
Homeowners also complained about noise and diesel fumes from dredging equipment on Dockweiler State Beach.
Only part of the work had been completed when the project contract expired March 30, county officials reported.
Jackson told commissioners that Dredge Master was the only company to bid on the Marina del Rey project. The company will be paid only for the work that was completed, he said.
The corps will decide whether to seek a different operator to complete the work this fall, he said.
Also, Jackson said, the corps has met with area residents and agreed to impose regulations on the project that will control noise and fumes.