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PORT OF LOS ANGELES : Waste Bag Stuck on Barge Delays Dredging

November 17, 1994

A plan to dredge contaminated waste from Marina del Rey channel and dump it on the floor of the Los Angeles Harbor has hit a snag: getting the waste off the barge.

When the first barge-load arrived in the harbor Nov. 10, the sediment, contained in a plastic, sausage-like "geo-tube," wouldn't budge.

"They tried to dump from the barge and the bag stuck," said Dwayne Lee, deputy executive director of development at the port. "They put too much material in the bag and the hole (in the barge) is too small."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which tried for months to get approval for the dredging project, was still trying to get the material out of the barge Wednesday.

"We're tapping the geo-tube down with a large piece of equipment that will force it through the hole," spokesman Fred-Otto Egeler said.

In the meantime, three more geo-tubes, packed to about one-third the size of the first, have successfully slid from other barges into the harbor.

While the corps is trying to dislodge the first load and dredge more from Marina del Rey, the time it has to complete the project is ticking away.

The corps plans to store about 132,000 cubic yards of sediment in the harbor as fill for part of the Pier 300/400 expansion project. Port officials agreed to take on the Army Corps' material, but not at the expense of their own expansion project, which began in September.

The corps has to finish dumping the geo-tubes by Dec. 1, when the port plans to cover them with 15 feet of clean material.

"It doesn't make sense to let a $3-million project delay (our) $150-million project," Lee said.

The commission will hold a final public hearing on the project at a meeting Friday. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at Clarion Hotel-Bayview, 660 K St., San Diego.

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