A U.S. Army Corps. of Engineer project to dredge Clinton Harbor is sending more than 50,000 cubic feet of native Connecticut sand to Madison beaches, says Hammonasset Beach Park Supervisor Henry Alves, at no cost to the park.
The project is taking the sand from an 8-foot navigation channel in Clinton Harbor that is 100-feet wide and about 1.1 miles long, that extends from Long Island Sound into Clinton Harbor.
The sandy dredge is being pumped through a pipeline about 1.8 miles to Hammonasset. The goal of the dredging project, which is clearly audible to people living in the vicinity of Clinton Harbor, is to remove a tip of Cedar Island that migrated into the channel, creating navigation problems for mariners, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District. The $1.01 million job is being done by Select Transportation, Inc., of Hilliard, Ohio.
The project, while supported by tax dollars that go to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer, will not cost Hammonasset anything.
"We are reaping the benefits of the project. The sand will be pumped out onto East Beach. We're making out quite well," Alves said, adding that that the fact that the beach is being built up with native sand is of particular benefit to the park.
Alves said people should not be concerned if the sand initially looks black when it's being dredged up and dumped on the beach. That's to be expected, he said. "In a couple of days the sun will bleach it out and it will turn into normal beach sand," he said.
While the Clinton Harbor project is expected to run through March, the pumping period is expected to be about 30 days, if the weather cooperates, Alves said.
As part of the project, a temporary dirt bridge has been built in the park, both for pedestrians on the walkway, and on the road. The pipe runs underneath.