Innovative Engineering Completes Dredge Spoil Disposal Facility

by Vahan Tanal, Project Mgr. and Assoc.; Parsons, Brinkerhoff, Quade & Douglas,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1984, Vol. 54, Issue 3, Pg. 41-44

Document Type: Feature article


A large dredge spoil facility was completed for the Fort McHenry Tunnel that received 3.5 million cu yds of dredged material, and was constructed so that it could be converted into a port terminal by the Maryland Port Administration at a later date. Severe environmental, time, and soil restrictions limited what project engineers could do, but they came up with innovative solutions that eventually fit everyone's needs. Environmental restrictions limited the suspended solids discharge to no more than 400 parts per million. But since the disposal was too small to provide adequate settling basins, it was necessary to accelerate solids settling from the dredge slurry by flocculation before the effluent could be discharged back into Baltimore harbor. Once inside adjustable shaft-type weirs, the effluent is subject to rapid mixing of a polymer, flocculation inside the treatment basin, sedimentation along the settling basin, then discharged into the harbor through outlet pipes. Seventy-six, 62 ft diameter cells and their adjoining arcs were constructed to enclose approximately 146 acres of water by 5,600 linear ft of containment structure. Construction of the cells proceeded by installing interlocking sheets around a preset template.

Subject Headings: Ports and harbors | Settling basins | Innovation | Dredged materials | Environmental issues | Solid mechanics | Flocculation | Effluents | Baltimore | Maryland | United States

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