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Hydrographic Surveys Celebrates 25 Years, Adds New Boat to Fleet


Hydrographic Surveys  of Sewell, New Jersey will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2005.  Nationally Certified Hydrographers James L. Steffen and Alfred W. "Bill" Benson established the company in 1980.  From a workload of 30 to 40 surveys per year in the 1980's, the company has expanded to more than 250 projects per year, including several monthly survey projects, resulting in more than 4000 total projects.


"As a subcontractor to several dredging firms, we have had an extremely busy 2004," said Judy Underwood, assistant office manager, who joined the company this October.  "This year alone we have subcontracted through DonJon to perform surveys for the Corps of Engineers' ongoing projects for Port Jersey Contract 1, Arthur Kill Contract 1 & Seguine Point. 


Michele Dickey has been office manager for more than ten years, and Scott Leslie, computer technician, joined the company in February 2004. 


The company added a second survey boat, "The Michele Jeanne", in 2003.


The Michele Jeanne was built in 1989 by SeaArk Marine Inc. in Monticello, Arkansas. Hydrographic Surveys purchased the vessel on October 14, 2003, and rebuilt it with two Cummins 6 BTA5.9-M2 turbo diesel engines coupled to ZF PPD 120 commercial stern drives driven through ZF transmissions.


On-board survey equipment includes an Innerspace Dual Frequency 456 survey sounder, Trimble AG-GPS 132 receiver, TSS DMS-10 heave compensator, Dell 450 precision workstation, and Hypack Max software.


The Michele Jeanne was launched on April 23, 2004 from Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, New Jersey, where she has been berthed for the 2004 season. So far the Michele Jeanne has performed more than 30 surveys for companies including DonJon Marine Co., Disch Construction, American Sugars Refining, Citgo and many others. The company's other vessel is a 24-foot Monark that has been in service for 10 years.


(...from International Dredging Review, November/December 2004)



Mopping Operation Certifies Berths Oil Free


On March 2, Hydrographic Surveys completed an oil mopping job at two ship berths on the Delaware River using specifications provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.


Having developed a procedure and a combination of custom fabricated and off-the-shelf materials, Hydrographic Surveys was able to certify two ship berths as free of residual oil deposits for upcoming dredge projects. 


The Submerged Oil Dragging Procedure was developed by NJDEP in response to concerns about dredge materials possibly becoming contaminated with residual oil deposits from the November 2004 oil spill on the Delaware River.  The procedure calls for dragging viscous snare material over the top of sediments in the proposed dredge area. This material is gathered in small bundles called 'pom-poms' and attached to a weighted beam which is then submerged to contact the bottom. The beam is held perpendicular to the direction of travel, such that a continuous area of coverage the length of the beam is created. After each pass of the mopping beam, it is raised and inspected for any trace of residual oil deposits. 


Photographs are taken and the condition of the sorbent materials are recorded. If residual oil is detected, the contaminated materials are removed and replaced with new 'pom-poms' and the procedure is repeated until no oil is detected. 


Hydrographic Surveys responded to a request on February 24, 2005 by Weston Solutions, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, to provide a towing vessel and all associated equipment to complete "mopping" work on the Delaware River.  In just five days from notification, using resources and expertise related to similar projects, Hydrographic Surveys was prepared to complete the work on March 1, 2005. 


Some of the hurdles which had to be overcome to complete this task included redeploying the survey vessel Michele Jeanne from Elizabeth, New Jersey to Gloucester, New Jersey, developing a comprehensive operations and safety plan, and fabricating the beam and necessary components for lifting and dragging operations. 


(...from International Dredging Review, May/June 2005, pg 20)



A Visit to the Arthur Kill Deepening Project

*Port of New York & New Jersey, April 7, 2005


Donjon's clamshell dredge Michigan, a 4600 Manitowoc,

was digging contaminated material with an 18-cubic-yard

Cable Arm bucket. The shoreline is Elizabeth, New Jersey. 


Bill Benson arranged a tour of the dredging projects. His

company, Hydrographic Surveys, has the contract for the

pre- and post-dredge surveys, as well as for periodic pay

surveys in the course of the project. 

Crew members from the dredge Michigan include Project

Superintendent Jim Wright, fourth from left, and Dredge

Superintendent Anthony LoPresti, far right. 


Unloading processed material from a barge and stockpiling

it in preparation for trucking away. 


The Great Lakes dredge New York loads shale into the new

GL 501, 5000 cubic yard split hull scow. This is the first of

two scows delivered for this job. The sister scow, GL 502,

was scheduled for delivery the middle of April from Morgan

City, Louisiana.


This excavator is equipped with an attachment that acts like

a rototiller to mix Portland cement with the material, which

dries and stabilizes it. 


Dennis O.Brien, left, mate on the New York, and Bill Miller,

captain of the crewboat Northstar II, chartered by Great

Lakes for this project.


Chris Gunsten, Great Lakes project

manager, on the deck of the New York.

18-cubic-yard Cable Arm on the Michigan.


(...from International Dredging Review, May/June 2005, pg 21)






Copyright © 2005 Hydrographic Surveys.