Donjon Marine Springs into Action, Dredging for Arrival of USNS COMFORT
Updated: March 30, 2020
Donjon Marine Co., Inc. expedited dredging operations at Manhattan Cruise Terminal to make way for the U.S. Navy’s hospital ship USNS COMFORT. All
dredging was completed ahead of schedule on Sunday, March 29, 2020. The hospital ship docked at approximately 11:45 on Monday, March 30, 2020.
The USNS COMFORT received orders from President Trump to dock in Manhattan as a relief hospital facility for individuals needing hospital care but who are not necessarily infected with COVID-19. This will allow more bed space in NYC’s land-based hospitals for infected patients. The ship has upwards of 1,000 hospital beds.
Jones Act dredging company Donjon Marine of Hillside, New Jersey was contacted last week and asked to begin dredging Manhattan Cruise Terminal’s Berth 4 in anticipation of the arrival of the USNS COMFORT to New York City. Donjon sprang into action, hurrying a dump scow out of drydock 10 days earlier than scheduled, and moving its dredge the DELAWARE BAY and two other scows from ongoing projects into position.
“That wasn’t all we had to do,” said Donjon Marine’s Thomas Witte, Executive Vice President and Director of Dredging. “We needed expedited permits and authorizations from the federal government, state of New York, and the city in order to place dredge material in certain locations. We were able to receive them – in less than 12 hours from being requested to issuance,” he said.
Witte said he has never seen approval of permits move that fast, stating “9/11 was close.” He credits the quick action on permits to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Thomas Creamer, Chief of Operations, and Jodi McDonald, Deputy Chief of Operations, Readiness, and Regulatory Functions Division.
Donjon is moving crewmembers and supplies in and out of Manhattan on shuttle boats from Jersey City.
“When America says jump, we don’t ask why. We ask how high. That is what the U.S. dredging industry does – day in and day out. Donjon Marine is another shining example of the U.S. dredging industry,” said William P. Doyle, Chief Executive Officer of the Dredging Contractors of America.
Stay tuned. This is a developing story. . .