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USACE awards $54M San Juan Harbor project to Curtin Maritime Corp.

A $54.2 million firm-fixed-price contract for the San Juan Harbor construction and maintenance dredging project was recently awarded to California-based Curtin Maritime Corp., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Defense have announced.

Bids were solicited via the internet and seven were received.

Curtin Maritime is an American-owned and operated marine solutions company, providing a range of maritime services from marine transportation to construction.

“The contract was awarded on June 11,” Luis Deya, public affairs specialist, Corporate Communications USACE, Jacksonville District, Antilles Area Office, confirmed to News is my Business.

The scope of the project consists of construction and maintenance dredging in designated areas of the federal navigation channel and Puerto Rico Ports Authority docking areas. The work is estimated to be completed by July 31, 2024.

The San Juan Harbor is located on the northern coast of Puerto Rico and is the island’s principal port. The majority of the commonwealth’s waterborne cargo and cruise ships pass through the harbor, handling more than 75% of the non-petroleum waterborne commerce, according to the USACE Jacksonville District website.

The San Juan Harbor currently suffers from “known shipping inefficiencies due to limited channel width and depth.”

“Existing cargo shippers experience increased operation costs due to light loading, vessel size limitations, and congestion delays,” according to the USACE Jacksonville District website. “Cruise vessel operators experience increased in-port maneuvering costs due to channel and turning basin width and depth constraints. And bulk fuel importers including liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and liquified natural gas (LNG) experience increased operation costs due to vessel size limitations.”

The USACE, Jacksonville District completed a feasibility study on Aug. 23, 2018, that recommended a plan to improve the economic efficiency of commercial navigation and power generation in San Juan Harbor. The recommended plan includes widening and deepening the inner harbor channels leading to cruise ship and petroleum terminal operators.

The recommended plan, known as the National Economic Development plan, maximizes net benefits while protecting the environment. The non-federal sponsor for the project is the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, which owns, operates and manages facilities for cargo and cruise vessels at the harbor.

“In association with the navigation project, there is also the opportunity to beneficially use dredged material to restore submerged aquatic vegetation habitat in the Condado Lagoon, adjacent to San Juan Harbor,” the USACE website adds.

“A central portion of the 102-acre Condado Lagoon had previously been degraded by construction activities in the 1950s and there is an opportunity to restore that area using compatible sediment dredged at the entrance channel of San Juan Harbor. The Corps continues to explore the feasibility of incorporating this action alongside the navigation project,” it states.

The construction contract is estimated to last for approximately 18 months, during which dredging operations are expected to account for roughly eight to 10 of those months, with the remainder used for planning, equipment mobilization, and potential weather and equipment delays.


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