MANATEE -- Dredging is expected to resume at Port Manatee in the next seven to 10 days as repairs continue at a Piney Point facility that handles dredge material for the port project, according to Jordan Levy, a company official.
The Piney Point facility, owned by HRK Holdings LLC, is under repair after it leaked more than 169 million gallons into the surrounding neighborhood and Bishop Harbor, according to calculations provided earlier this week by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which is overseeing repairs.
Company officials have said they suspect that ruptures in a plastic liner in a compartment atop the huge facility at 13300 U.S. 41 N. caused discharges over at least three weeks, ending June 16. On June 3, Port Manatee halted dredging on its construction project in order to provide the company time to diagnose and fix the leaks.
The company is working with several grouting contractors to schedule repairs, said Levy, HRK’s chief executive officer.
The engineering firm Ardaman & Associates and another third-party liner expert performed tests Thursday to pinpoint the cause of the liner failure, Levy said.
When dredging resumes, the company plans to again handle and dispose of dredge material from the port’s Berth 12 project. The dredge material is carried through pipelines from the port to HRK’s facility across U.S. 41, with the help of great quantities of seawater.
The dredging project is designed to attract large container vessels that will be using the Panama Canal when an expansion is completed in 2014.