Month-long Perdido Pass dredging project creates new beach west of pier
ORANGE BEACH, Alabama (WALA) – A month-long dredging project at Perdido Pass ended on Thursday, November 3, 2022 at Orange Beach. The Army Corps of Engineers dredged the channel every two to three years to keep the pass navigable for larger ships.
What do you get when a massive dredge pumps sand and water for three weeks straight? Well, you get a new range. This is exactly what happened along the west pier of Perdido Pass. More than 250,000 cubic meters of sand was moved from the Perdido Pass channel and deposited along the shore.
“Where we are, the beach was about here, which gives you what, maybe fifty yards of beach. Now there’s a hundred and fifty yards of beach, which is beautiful. It’s really the case,” said Orange Beach visitor Jane Leatherland.
Others, like Leatherland, were impressed with the dredging and the difference it made. Not only is dredging essential for marine traffic, such as Orange Beach’s massive charter fleet, but the sand removed has proven invaluable to Orange Beach’s coastal resort projects. Coastal Resources Manager Phillip West said sand from the pass was placed along the coast.
“We get an advantage. The public…recreation benefits,” West said. “It protects the infrastructure built north of the beach and then even the wildlife sees the benefits.”
The contractor, Mike Hooks LLC, began work in early October and dredging has only been halted a few days since for equipment repairs. Since then, the equivalent of 12,000 dump trucks of sand have been removed from the pass. The project is funded by the Corps and the city reaps huge benefits.
“The benefit for us is that all this material is placed on these beaches and you know, we don’t have to pay anything here locally and it’s worth at least two and a half million dollars to us,” Wet explained.
West said the sand from the canal is premium beach sand. While the dredging is completed, it will take some time to remove all pipes and equipment from the channel and beach.
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