By Jeremy Murray
MOBILE, Ala. – In 1992, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District opened the doors to the Irvington site office in Irvington, Alabama.
The Irvington site is a navigation office under the district’s operations division, the Irvington team consist of Admin Section, a Dredging/DA Support Section, which handles dredging and disposal area management, and a Navigation Support Section, which handles the office’s hydrographic and topographic survey efforts.
“Our mission is to assure that federal navigation channels are suitable for the vessels which use them,” said Stephen Reid, Mobile District’s Irvington Site manager. “This mission is important to the nation so that traffic can move safely, reliably, and efficiently and with minimal impact on the environment.”
There are more than 15 navigation projects (contracts/task orders) a year maintained by the office.
The different sections come together and works with the states and communities as partners to identify objectives and resolve concerns by surveying channels using one of the several onsite vessels. To maintain these channels the need for dredging must be established; sampling and testing of the material, search, and identification of a suitable disposal site for the material.
“Most of our dredging projects are done hydraulicly through cutter head dredging rather than mechanical dredging,” said Reid. “The hydraulic dredging, involves a dredge that floats on the water and pumps the material to an off-site location, as where mechanical dredging involves heavy equipment on a barge or on the shoreline”
The Irvington site is the closest field office to the Mobile District office. It allows for the Irvington team to work closely not only with the community, but also with the operations division located in the MDO.
“It’s not only a benefit for us here in the Irvington office but also the team at the Mobile District office to be so close,” said Reid. Everyone can make visits to either office with no hassle, which is helpful for decision making and mission execution.”
After 30 years, the Irvington site office continues to be a vital part of completing the USACE mission daily.
“After 4 years at the Irvington site office, I enjoy being able to utilize my dredging, surveying, and engineering experience to help fulfill the objectives of the Operations Division,” said Daniel Gordon, Mobile District engineering technician. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the community we live in with the work we do on the waterways.”
With an area of operation across Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and northern Florida, and a vast military region that includes operations across Central and South America, the Mobile District’s award- winning teams of engineering, construction, regulatory and emergency management professionals are nationally recognized for their leadership in delivery of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works and military programs missions to the Nation.
# # #