In April we were able to bring you the news that the San Rafael Channel was set to be dredged over the summer. We can now tell you the dredging is underway, and may be completed by the end of November. The dredging is the first serious attempt at clearing the channel in 20 years. The channel harbors almost 2,000 boats and plays a key part in defending San Rafael against flooding.
Operations began last month, and Dredging Today reports that Dutra Group dredging crews have been working to reach a depth of eight feet in the outer channel, running out to San Pablo Bay. At the same time they are dredging the inner channel from the turning basin by Grand Avenue to Pickleweed Park, to reach a depth of six feet.
The San Rafael Channel was federally authorized in 1918, running from San Francisco Bay into northern Marin County. Its last full dredging took place in 2002, with a partial dredge being completed in 2011. During the intervening years, much of the waterway has been as low as zero to two and a half feet in depth during low tides.
According to the report in Dredging Today, city officials said the contractor plans to finish the project by November 30 — the end of the dredging season. If the work is not completed, they will return and finish the job next summer.
When fully complete, the San Rafael Channel dredging project will restore the waterway to its federally authorized depths of six to eight feet.