U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Awards Contract to Dredge Erie Harbor

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Published Dec. 13, 2023
Updated: Dec. 13, 2023
A crane on a barge uses a clamshell scoop to dredge sediment in a harbor in Erie, Pa.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District contractor Ryba Marine Construction Co. dredges the Erie Harbor, Erie, Pa., June 30, 2021. The 2021 dredging cycle will remove 290,000 cubic yards from the Erie Harbor federal channel. (U.S. Army photo by Jess Levenson)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District awarded a $682,000 contract to Michigan-based Ryba Marine Construction Co. on Dec. 6 to conduct dredging of the federal navigation channel in Erie Harbor.

Dredging of harbors like Erie’s ensures accessible depths for large vessels, the continued flow of commodities across the Great Lakes, and the economic viability of United States waterways.

“Maintaining the operation of ports like Erie is a core part of our mission and essential to the economic strength of the nation,” said Lt. Col. Colby Krug, commander of the Buffalo District. “We’re proud of our partnerships with the City of Erie, the state of Pennsylvania, and our representatives in Congress that have made this contract award possible, and we look forward to getting dredging underway.”

“Lake Erie is a natural and economic treasure that serves as an integral part of Erie’s identity. Through this work, we are supporting the use of the nation’s waterways and ports to strengthen supply chains, grow businesses, and improve the infrastructure of Lake Erie and our surrounding areas,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-16). “Thank you to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for recognizing the importance of maintaining these resources.”

Dredging will be focused in the lake approach channel and areas between the entrance piers. Work is scheduled to take place from mid-June through July 2024.

A total of approximately 100,000 cubic yards of material is contracted to be mechanically dredged and placed in an authorized open lake placement area.

Dredging of Erie Harbor is now scheduled to be conducted by USACE every three to four years, based on availability of funding.

Erie Harbor is a deep draft commercial harbor which handled 787,000 tons of cargo, including limestone (52%), sand & gravel (30%) and salt (17%) in 2021. Waterborne transportation facilitated by the harbor supports $29.3 million in business revenue, 139 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, and $9.4 million in labor income to the national transportation sector.

Operation, maintenance and dredging of harbors like Erie by USACE is critical to the economy of Pennsylvania, the Great Lakes region, and the United States.

More photos available at:

Erie Harbor dredging, June 2021

The Buffalo District delivers world class engineering solutions to the Great Lakes Region, the Army and the Nation in order to ensure national security, environmental sustainability, water resource management, and emergency assistance during peace and war.

Avery Schneider
478 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14217
Andrew Kornacki
478 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14217

Release no. 23-025