Corps of Engineers awards contract for Oswego Harbor Dredging

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Published April 30, 2019

Buffalo, NY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District has awarded a $1.5 million contract to conduct dredging in the federal navigation channel and harbor areas of Oswego Harbor during spring and early summer 2019. 

The contract was awarded to Ryba Marine Construction Company, based in Cheboygan, Michigan on March 21, 2019. The contractor is anticipated to begin work in June 2019 with dredging to be performed throughout the federal navigation channel.

“This is great news for Oswego and Central New York. The harbor plays a key role in the local economy, and keeping this critical channel navigable and maintained will clear the way for increased job creation and economic development,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “I was proud to fight for the funding that helped make this project possible – and the news that the work is starting early this summer will ensure there is not a hitch in the process.”

This contract award will allow federal dredging to occur for the first time since the 2016 dredging was completed, when a total of 171,000 cubic yards of sediment material was removed to allow for safer passage for commercial and recreational traffic.

“Oswego Harbor serves as an important navigation channel on the Great Lakes for commercial shipping and recreational boating activities that contribute to Central New York’s economy,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Dredging will ensure that ships can continue to safely navigate through the harbor, and I’m glad that this project is moving forward.”

The frequency of dredging in Oswego Harbor is subject to the availability of funds and when sufficient funding is in place. The Corps of Engineers schedules dredging every 3-4 years at the Oswego Harbor in order to maintain federally authorized depths, which include 21-24 feet in the Oswego River channel, 25 feet in the outer harbor, and 27 feet in the lake approach channel.

"Serving as the first U.S. port of call and deepwater port on the Great Lakes from the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Port of Oswego is a critical economic engine for Oswego County and all of Central New York," said Rep. Katko. "I have worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps to advocate for this funding and appreciate their continued commitment to the Port and our region.  Dredging in the navigation channel and harbor areas of Oswego Harbor will allow for increased traffic at the Port and will bolster our regional economy."

Oswego Harbor is a deep draft commercial harbor interconnected with 7 commercial ports, supporting more than 250,000 tons annually.  It is home to 536 recreational slips, 6 boat launches, and 29 charter boats.  It generates $19 million in economic benefits and supports a total of 209 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.

“This contract award for Oswego Harbor will continue safe navigation for commercial and recreational vessels while opening the doors to greater commercial traffic,” said Lt. Col. Jason Toth, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District commander. “We are grateful for the advocacy of Senator Gillibrand, Senator Schumer, and Representative Katko, as well as other state and local partners, who have worked hard to secure funding for the effort. We look forward to assisting the community with any future projects to improve harbor infrastructure.”

Shaina Souder
1776 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY 14207

Release no. 19-005