PORTLAND, ORE. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week released its Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report for the jetty system at the Mouth of the Columbia River.
The MCR jetty system consists of three jetties. It is in a state of structural decay and requires significant repairs to continue providing safe navigation of ships between the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River navigation channel. Continued deterioration, ongoing storm activity and the continued loss of sand shoal material has positioned the jetty system for a series of frequent, costly emergency repairs.
The major rehabilitation report outlines the Corps’ seven-year plan for maintaining the jetties and channel entrance. It compares repair alternatives based on initial and life-cycle costs, reliability and environmental effects. The report is available for public review on the Portland District web site at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil
The primary function of the MCR jetty system is to maintain the navigation channel for deep draft shipping. Its secondary function, evaluated in the structure rehabilitation effort, is to significantly extend the life and reliability of the jetties in order to ensure its primary function. The MCR jetty system consists of three rubble-mound jetties, with a total originally authorized length of 10.2 miles, constructed between 1885 and1939 on massive tidal shoals to secure consistent navigation through the coastal inlet.
According to the Center for Economic Development and Research, the Columbia/Snake River navigation system is the top export gateway for the Nation’s wheat and barley exports. It is also the number one export gateway for west coast wood and mineral bulk exports, as wellas for automobile imports. Marine traffic passing the entrance of the Columbia River has increased by 34 percent from 32 million tons in 2003 to 42 million tons in 2010.
Release no. 12-046