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Delayed Oceanside Sand Dredging Project Nears Completion

Dredging Underway In Oceanside

The annual sand dredging project in Oceanside is almost finished, five months late.

The Army Corps of Engineers said the contract to dredge sand from the harbor mouth to replenish the beach will be done by the end of this month.

The annual contract calls for the removal of 260,000 cubic yards of sand at the entrance to the harbor and replenish the city's eroding beaches.

This year's operations have seen numerous delays since work by CJW Construction began in June. In previous years the job was done by Memorial Day.

Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood said the contractor’s problems have affected the city’s tourist season.

“The timing of it, you can't tie up the beach with dredging the entire summer for our money-making period for tourists,” Wood said.

The main problem is the company's small-scale equipment that cannot withstand any adverse weather conditions. This has caused dozens of non-work days due to weather, and equipment repairs and replacement.

“They're not competent, don't have the same equipment, they're not fulfilling their obligations,” Wood said.

The mayor said the city's goal is to make sure the contract is handled differently next year.

Photo by Promise Yee

Sand dredged from the mouth of the Oceanside harbor is fed down the beach in a metal pipe and dropped next to the Oceanside pier, Oct. 15, 2016.

Greg Fuderer, Army Corps senior public affairs specialist, said a thorough evaluation of this year's performance will be done to help set future contract requirements before next year's hire is made.

A Memorial Day completion date, and a requirement for more robust equipment are expected to be part of next year's contract.

For now, Fuderer said, the Army Corps will continue to work diligently with the contractor to complete this year's dredging.

“We know we're behind schedule, and we know there are impacts,” Fuderer said.

As of Oct. 13, 218,690 cubic yards of sand had been dredged from the harbor and put on city beaches. Dredging is expected to be completed this month.

Promise Yee is a North County freelance writer. Contact her at promise.yee.1@gmail.com. Twitter: @promisenews.

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