Petersburg’s South Harbor holds many of the largest vessels in Petersburg’s commercial fishing fleet. (Joe Viechnicki/KFSK)

A multi-million dollar U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging project in Petersburg’s South Harbor is out to bid and is expected to start in the fall. The work could be awarded to a private contractor in June. The overall cost and scope of work depends on bids from dredging companies and the available funding.

The Corps is paying for a majority of the project, which will focus on the north side of that harbor. The Petersburg borough has already paid a million dollars for construction and expects to kick in more for its share of the project. That’s coming from harbor department reserves, built up over the past decade from a state tax on seafood landings. In addition, the project will mean the Corps will assume responsibility for keeping portions of that harbor dredged when needed in the future.

Areas that may be dredged near C float and D float of South Harbor (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers drawing)

The borough’s been planning for this work for nearly six years, soon after Petersburg’s last dredging project in North Harbor. A 2018 study by the Corps put the total price tag for removing sand and soil from the sea floor in South Harbor around $8 million . Most of that harbor dates back to 1984 with additions nearly two decades ago.

The work could start in October and could take months.

Joe Viechnicki spoke this week with harbormaster Glorianne Wollen at her office about the schedule and how it’s expected to go.

The project would remove an estimated 83,000 cubic yards of mud from South Harbor. The plan is to dump that in Frederick Sound about two miles to the east.