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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Canal dredging ongoing in Holmes Beach

The dredging of some 32 canals in Holmes Beach is now in its first phase, said Public Works Director Joe Duennes, and contractor Energy Resources Inc. has completed the dredging of the first canal parallel to Flotilla Drive.

Dredging of the second canal, between 66th Street and 67th Street, has begun, he said. Dredging of that canal should take another eight to 12 days.

Material dredged is being stockpiled in a "lake" behind the Birdie Tibbetts baseball field, and when the material dries, the contractor is hauling it away, Duennes said.

But the material is "not being moved as fast as we want," added Duennes, and he's expressed his concern to the contractor.

About 40 percent (7,200 cubic yards) of the estimated 18,000 cubic yards of material to be dredged in the first five canals of phase one was from the first canal along Flotilla Drive, he said.

Five canals will be dredged in phase one, Duennes said.

The next three canals in order are the canal paralleling 77th Street to the north; the canal paralleling Marina Drive from 77th Street to the north, and the canals that form the interior border of Marina Isles.

Duennes estimated phase one and the removal of all stockpiled material would be completed in July or August, depending upon the weather.

At the same time, he noted, the West Coast Inland Navigation District is preparing a bid to dredge a number of shallow areas outside the city's jurisdiction and Energy Resources is expected to bid on that project.

Areas in the WCIND dredge project include the shallow area near Watson's Bayou past the Key Royale entrance and several areas near the Kingfish Boat Ramp.

Energy Resources did the dredging for WCIND in those areas under the last contract, and the company recently worked on Longboat Key in that town's canal dredging project.