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Upper Newport Bay Ecosystem Restoration Phase I & II

Dredging Project in Newport Beach, CA

Project Details

Client: US Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Construction: September 2009 - November 2010
Value: $28,500,000
Highlights: ASCE awarded "Upper Newport Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project" Outstanding Environmental Project for 2011


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Project Description

Dutra was contracted as the primary subcontractor to perform this multi-phase, multi-year project restored the entire Upper Newport Bay Basin, and minimized the need for future maintenance of sensitive habitat areas and recreational boating waterways. As one of the few wetlands in Southern California, the Upper Bay provides critical habitat for migratory waterfowl, shorebirds and other endangered species.  Rapid urbanization of the area’s watershed led to an increase in sediment infill and this project returned the Upper Bay to an optimal ecosystem.

Major Challenges
All dredging and disposal operations were subject to strict quality control and environmental protection measures including protection of water quality and endangered species. Scheduling challenges included dredging sedimentation during the busy summer sailing season and coordination between tugboat operators, coast guard and the City of Newport to alert sailing clubs of impending barge traffic.

Project Scope

  • Removal of 1.5 million cubic yards of contaminated material.
  • Mobilize an amphibious excavator for semi-submerged dredging and capping.
  • Clearing and construction of islands as viable habitat for the endangered California Least Tern.
  • Precision grading of on-site materials, and placement of coarse-grained sand cap.
  • Shallow water pipeline dredging to isolate and protect existing nesting sites for endangered species.