“I want to thank from our administration everyone who worked to get the dredging done. This ship is here ahead of schedule because of the amazing military. The dredging was done faster than anyone knew it could be done to allow this ship to dock. Everyone pulled together. This was supposed to take two weeks. They did it in eight days. That means help has arrived quicker. We’ll be able to do the life-saving work right now,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Manhattan’s westside waterfront.
“It was great to see everybody pull together under such difficult circumstances in order to achieve an excellent outcome for the USNS Comfort to be safely docked in Berth 4 at Pier 90 this morning,” said Tom Witte, Executive Vice President and Director of Operations for Donjon Marine Company. “We worked 24/7 for the past 8 days right up until the USNS Comfort appeared on the horizon around 10:00 am in order to achieve the necessary depths before the 10:30 am deadline. We had 28 people out there during each shift manning our dredge, our crew boat, and our various supporting towing and tending tugboats.”
In preparation for the arrival of the USNS Comfort to New York, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ New York District Operations Division moved quickly and approved the necessary dredging permits that allowed U.S. dredging company Donjon Marine of Hillside, New Jersey, to expedite dredging operations at Manhattan Cruise Terminal, using a crew of 60 and working two 12-hour shifts each day. This two-week job was completed, as Mayor de Blasio said, in eight days. It deepened Manhattan Cruise Terminal’s Pier 90 Berth #4 to a depth of 40 ft. by removing 92,000 cubic yards of dredge material. Donjon Marine’s clamshell dredge Delaware Bay was supported by three dump scow barges, tender boats, and three tugboats.
“COVID-19 doesn’t wait to attack,” said William P. Doyle, CEO of the Dredging Contractors of America. “Donjon Marine and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did a great job – no question about it. They got the job done. They worked the levers of government to expedite all the necessary dredging permits at the federal, state and local levels and to facilitate relief for the hospitals and people of New York City.”