Backhoe dredge deepens port channel

BACKHOE DREDGE: An Auckland-based backhoe dredge is working this week on deepening the seabed beside wharves seven and eight. Eastland Port marine pilot Brett McPhee is with the dredge, which is expected to shift 4500 cubic metres of material during the four-day operation. Picture by Liam Clayton

A BACKHOE dredge is working in and around Eastland Port this week as part of a maintenance dredging programme.

The dredge, from Heron Construction in Auckland, arrived in port earlier this week, towed by the tug Kurutai.
Port general manager Andrew Gaddum said the dredge will work in front of wharves seven and eight and in the navigation channel.

“The work in front of the wharf involves re-establishing the normal depth of 10.5 metres in those areas.”

Backhoe dredges work stationary, with a hydraulic excavator installed on a pontoon.

“They can dredge a wide range of materials very precisely, and operate well in shallow and enclosed waters.

“The dredge is used to clear away hard material like papa rock and mudstone which has built up and created high spots in front of the wharves where the biggest ships berth,” Mr Gaddum said.

The port’s suction hopper dredge Pukunui will take dredged material to the port’s normal disposal site 3.7km from the end of the channel out in Poverty Bay.

“The backhoe is expected to take four days and approximately 4500 cubic metres of dredged sediment will be removed.”

The maintenance dredging operates in accordance with existing Gisborne District Council resource consents.

A BACKHOE dredge is working in and around Eastland Port this week as part of a maintenance dredging programme.

The dredge, from Heron Construction in Auckland, arrived in port earlier this week, towed by the tug Kurutai.
Port general manager Andrew Gaddum said the dredge will work in front of wharves seven and eight and in the navigation channel.

“The work in front of the wharf involves re-establishing the normal depth of 10.5 metres in those areas.”

Backhoe dredges work stationary, with a hydraulic excavator installed on a pontoon.

“They can dredge a wide range of materials very precisely, and operate well in shallow and enclosed waters.

“The dredge is used to clear away hard material like papa rock and mudstone which has built up and created high spots in front of the wharves where the biggest ships berth,” Mr Gaddum said.

The port’s suction hopper dredge Pukunui will take dredged material to the port’s normal disposal site 3.7km from the end of the channel out in Poverty Bay.

“The backhoe is expected to take four days and approximately 4500 cubic metres of dredged sediment will be removed.”

The maintenance dredging operates in accordance with existing Gisborne District Council resource consents.

The flow of logs continues across the wharves at Eastland Port fueled by demand from overseas buyers and stable prices.

Last month the port exported 263,050 tonnes of logs on to 11 log ships.

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