The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers vessel Currituck is dredging the channel at the mouth of the Kennebunk River in a project expected to take about three weeks Tammy Wells Photo

KENNEBUNK- A dredging project has begun at the mouth of the Kennebunk River.

Coral Siligato, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the dredging began on Friday, Jan. 3 and it expected to continue for the next two or three weeks.

The Kennebunk River project is expected to remove about 20,000 cubic yards of sandy sediment to remediate shoaling, she said.

Siligato said the work at the mouth of the river at the jetty is being done by the government dredge Currituck.

Public notices placed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the project describe it as “urgently needed.”

The dredged material is destined to be deposited off Gooch’s Beach in an area 1,545 feet long and 325 feet wide.

Siligato said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has also received for a separate project to repair the end of the jetty, to be conducted at a later date.

The channel was most recently dredged in 2014, when about 22,000 cubic yards of material was removed that had built up due to coastal storms and shoaling. In 2005, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 53,000 cubic yards of sand and silt was removed from the channel and anchorage areas. In July 2004 the Currituck dredged approximately 8,000 cubic yards of sand from shoaled portions of the 8-foot entrance channel.

Messages left for Kennebunk River harbormaster James Black seeking comment were not returned.

It is the second dredging project in the area in recent months. Approximately 30,000 cubic yards of sandy and other fine-grained material was be dredged from the 6-foot channel and 15-foot anchorage and channel at Cape Porpoise in a project that began earlier this fall.

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