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Deeper water to allow for larger yachts at Fort Lauderdale marina

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Photos and story by Dorie Cox

Scoop by scoop, an excavator on a floating barge dug from the Intracoastal Waterway bed at Sunrise Harbor Marina in Fort Lauderdale in late July. The work is part of a project to deepen the waterway to accommodate bigger yachts, according to Brad St. Coeur, marina manager.

“By dredging, we will attract larger, deeper-draft boats. That’s the objective,” St. Coeur said as he watched the work.

After more than a year and a half of permit applications, St. Coeur welcomed the start of the dredge project, which he said will increase depths to 11.5 feet – about 3 feet more than currently available at the marina located next to the Sunrise Boulevard bridge, two miles north of Port Everglades.

Coston Marine Services of Jupiter, Florida, is contracted to run the job, which requires several workers to manage the load, position the barge and monitor the yellow inflatable turbidity booms surrounding the site to contain floating particles. Another employee working the excavator on the barge continually lifts buckets of bottom material into the holding area. When full, the barge is untied and pushed north to another site to offload the dredge material before  returning for another load.

“We’ll be removing 4,000 yards of spoil,” St. Coeur said. “The barge will move two loads a day.” 

As the work continues west into the marina, St. Coeur will temporarily reposition yachts along the marina’s 2,500 feet of parallel concrete floating docks. 

The dredge is part of facility renovations scheduled to be completed before the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show that begins Oct. 31, according to St. Coeur.

“We are in the process of doing a total remodel of the fitness center and recently moved into the new marina office after a 10-month renovation,” St. Coeur said. “We expect the dredging project to be completed in about eight weeks.”

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.

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Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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