Outer harbor dredging for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) kicked into second gear when hopper dredging operations began in late December.
(The above video, courtesy of Jan de Nul Group, shows how hopper dredges work.)
Hopper dredges are more mobile than their cutter suction counterparts, which pump the dredged material to a barge that must be towed to a disposal area.
Conversely, hoppers suction material from the bottom via dragarms and deposit the material into a cargo bin onboard as the ship moves through the channel. When the bin is full, the ship deposits the material in the disposal area.
Because hoppers dredge as they move, they are confined to a window from Dec. 15-March 31 to protect sea turtles from becoming entangled.
Cutter suction dredging will resume in the outer harbor later in the year.
~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office