On January 10th 2022, DCA Executive Director Richard Balzano spoke with the Waterways Journal about the outlook and challenges ahead for the dredging industry in 2022 and beyond.
Waterways Journal: What do you know about the Corps’ dredging plans, and when will they be announced? Have members of your industry had any input into them or interactions with the Corps?
Balzano: We know the Corps is working on them, and we understand that they have a process to follow. We are working with Corps headquarters to set up a long-term scheduling and planning meeting.
WJ: Is dredging money from last year’s WRDA still coming through?
RB: We are very pleased with WRDA on a two-year cycle and the appropriations that have followed. The Corps is still working to get projects out for bid as far as we know. We as an industry have met with them and are standing at the ready to help them execute on their contracts.
WJ: What is the state of private dredging projects? Are customers like municipalities and marinas pulling back on dredging because of COVID?
RB: For the most part the work still needs to be done. We are still seeing progress with the non-Corps projects, but like everything else, COVID adds that much more time and planning to each project.
WJ: Will there be consolidation in the dredging business this year?
RB: Actually, the U.S. dredging industry is expanding, not consolidating, and getting more competitive. This is a direct result of the robust funding that Congress has provided the Corps for navigation and coastal protection projects that is resulting in a tremendous boom in building new dredges of all types.