The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (Port) is responsible for the unified permit of the channel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). This means that all the terminals and facilities along the harbor who need dredging are able to do so ensuring continuation of vessel movement in and out of the harbor. As the sole holder of the permit, the Port's role is to maintain the navigation channel by working with operating terminals in the bay and USACE to ensure proper depth and safe navigation at all times.
Over the past decade, maritime freight transportation has trended towards larger and larger ships, resulting in the need for wider and deeper channels nationwide. The current channel poses navigational challenges to larger vessels, particularly related to vessel draft, and the ability to safely maneuver within the channel footprint. Larger log and chip vessels moving in and out of the Port must synchronize passage with high tides, and often leave the port in a light loaded condition to reduce draft. Vessels that are light loaded are less efficient and generate higher costs for shippers. Modification of the channel will provide multiple opportunities for economic development in the South Coast. The increase in width and depth will allow existing and projected future cargo vessels to have less restricted access to berths and terminals, reducing delays and increasing the efficiency of port operations. The channel modification will also increase loading efficiencies for existing and future cargo vessels, which would allow industries to transport freight at lower unit costs. The Port’s goal is to promote the use of Coos Bay’s deep-water port in order to strengthen the development of a stable, diversified, and healthy regional economy while improving the quality of life in the region. Reducing the cost of transporting goods to and from international markets improves and preserves competitiveness for U.S. goods.
The Channel Modification Project will improve the channel for existing shippers, as well as create infrastructure to support future developments in the Coos Bay Harbor. Upcoming development of the Jordan Cove LNG Terminal has the potential to increase the volume travelling through the Port by roughly 475%. The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay and the Southern Oregon Coast are at a transformative point in their history and poised to tackle freight mobility challenges.
North Jetty Repairs
The Port has been working with local maritime stakeholders such as terminal operators, stevedores, pilots and government agencies to repair and fix the North Jetty. Years of degradation has caused the jetty to recede to the point where it is impacting the safety of vessels entering the harbor. The lead agency for this project is the U.S. Corps of Engineers.
In 2012, USACE Portland District completed the Major Maintenance Report for the Coos Bay North Jetty Repair. This Fiscal Year (FY18) the Corps will complete an Engineering Design Report to further develop the repair design for the North Jetty Head, Jetty Root, and shoreline fill along Log Spiral Bay. The Corps currently anticipates releasing requests for jetty repair sometime between FY20 and FY22, dependent on project sequencing and funding availability. The current planning estimate for stone quantities is approximately 100,000 tons depending on rate of jetty degradation and final design. High density stone (>175 lbs/cu.ft.) is expected to be required for 10-15% of the total stone volume.