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U.S. to purchase hydraulic dredge for Colorado River channel maintenance

The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $3.25 million contract to Ellicott Dredges LLC under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the purchase of new hydraulic dredge for use in support of Colorado River channel maintenance.

Under this award, Ellicott Dredges LLC, a Baltimore-based contractor, will design and build a large-scale hydraulic dredge for use by Reclamation's Yuma Area Office to remove accumulated silt and sediment from backwaters and settling basins along the lower Colorado River near Imperial and Laguna Dams.

"Removal of accumulated sediment from the lower stretches of the Colorado River is an ever present issue and challenge," said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. "Keeping the channel clear of accumulated sediment through regular dredging operations will enhance Reclamation’s ability to provide irrigators along the All-American and Gila Gravity Main canals with reliable water supplies."

The Bureau of Reclamation manages the channel, banklines, jetties, wash fans, training structures, gates, bridges, levees and access roads for the 276 river miles of the lower Colorado River from Davis Dam to the border with Mexico. Maintenance focuses on both reliable water delivery as well as protection from flooding. Accumulated sediment is an ongoing issue, and is periodically removed from settling basins and backwaters through large scale dredging operations.

"With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

Recently, Reclamation awarded a $6.84 million contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Phase 1B of the Battle Creek Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Project to construct a tailrace connector and penstock bypass at the Inskip Powerhouse, part of Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Battle Creek Hydroelectric Project.

The contract includes building a small bypass at Coleman Diversion Dam on the South Fork of Battle Creek. The project is in Shasta and Tehama counties near Manton, Calif.

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