In operation since 1992, the Mobile Engineer District’s Irvington site office in Irvington, Alabama is a navigation office under the district’s operations division.
The Irvington team consists of an Admin Section, a Dredging/DA Support Section, which handles dredging and disposal area management, and a Navigation Support Section, which handles the office’s hydrographic and topographic survey efforts.
“Our mission is to assure that federal navigation channels are suitable for the vessels which use them,” said Stephen Reid, Mobile District’s Irvington Site manager. “This mission is important to the nation so that traffic can move safely, reliably, and efficiently and with minimal impact on the environment.”
More than 15 navigation projects (contracts/task orders) a year are maintained by the office.
The different sections come together and works with the states and communities as partners to identify objectives and resolve concerns by surveying channels using one of the several onsite vessels. To maintain channels the need for dredging must be established; sampling and testing of the material, search, and identification of a suitable disposal site for the material.
“Most of our dredging projects are done hydraulically through cutter head dredging rather than mechanical dredging,” said Reid. “The hydraulic dredging, involves a dredge that floats on the water and pumps the material to an off-site location, whereas mechanical dredging involves heavy equipment on a barge or on the shoreline”
The Irvington site is the closest field office to the Mobile District office. It allows for the Irvington team to work closely not only with the community, but also with the operations division located in the district office.
“It’s not only a benefit for us here in the Irvington office but also the team at the Mobile District office to be so close,” said Reid. “Everyone can make visits to either office with no hassle, which is helpful for decision making and mission execution.”
After 30 years, the Irvington site office continues to be a vital part of completing the USACE mission daily.
“After four years at the Irvington site office, I enjoy being able to utilize my dredging, surveying, and engineering experience to help fulfill the objectives of the Operations Division,” said Daniel Gordon, Mobile District engineering technician. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the community we live in with the work we do on the waterways.”