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Letters to the Editor

March 5, 2015
Westfield Republican

Dear Editor,

Hundreds of people had great entertainment this past summer watching the dredging of the Barcelona Harbor. After a long wait and much negotiation, the project was finally able to proceed. The Federal Channel, under the control of the US Army Corp of Engineers, was funded with government monies designated for areas that were determined to be affected as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The Town portion of the channel was dredged through funding from the State of NY, Chautauqua County, Lake Erie Management Commission, and the Town. The project went forward under the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers, who managed the project and oversaw all bidding.

One difficulty in dredging our harbor is the shale formation, which is in many places quite shallow. The Federal Channel was cleaned to depths of 6 to 10 feet. The Town part of the harbor surrounding the pier was taken to an average of 5 feet. All material excavated was hauled by tugboat to a point roughly 3 miles out in the lake. We were fortunate that the test samples taken earlier from the harbor allowed for this dumping.

Ohio has recently banned dredged materials from being dumped back in the lake, and this is currently being proposed for New York. This will increase the cost to New York coastline entities dramatically. The alternative to putting the material back in the lake is to put it on dredged property, or hauling it to a landfill.

Some 30,000 cubic yards of material were removed from the Federal Channel, with an additional 25,000 cubic yards taken from the Town harbor. Many tree logs were removed from the harbor and placed both on the pier and along the Barcelona shore. These were available to anyone wanting firewood. The project took place in July and August and was completed in early September. There is discussion of future dredging to remove shale and increase the depth. This is under study by the Army Corps and will be revisited in coming years. It is a project that seemed to take forever to get going, but hopefully the result was worth the wait.

David S. Brown, PhD

Westfield Town Councilman



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