Bergerson dredge

Bergerson Construction recently purchased a hydraulic dredge, attaching it to an excavator that is then parked on a barge and floated into small marinas and harbors.

WARRENTON — The City Commission approved a nearly $750,000 contract with Bergerson Construction to dredge the Hammond Marina, dismissing a complaint filed by a rival bidder.

The city put out bids to dredge 70,000 cubic yards of sediment from 10 acres in the marina, which it recently took ownership of from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Bergerson Construction, a pile-driving and dock-building company that invested in a dredge, came back with a bid of $748,560 to dredge most of the marina.

Underwater Earth Movers, from Vancouver, Washington, came back with a bid of more than $1.6 million, but protested that Bergerson’s bid omitted information about its equipment, schedule, impact on the marina and other challenges.

“Bergerson met all of the criteria in the bid,” City Manager Linda Engbretson said Tuesday. “We did not specify a type of dredge.”

The city has heard nothing further since responding to the complaint letter, she said.

Bergerson, located at North Tongue Point in Astoria, routinely beats out competition for work in the lower Columbia River region because of its lack of mobilization costs. City commissioners also appreciated that the money from the contract would stay locally with Bergerson’s employees.

Greg Morrill, the president of Bergerson, said the dredging project will probably take two seasons to complete. The company will dispose of dredge spoils in the shipping channel and can only do so on an outgoing tide.

Bergerson’s dredge, working in Westport, Washington, has completed a couple of projects in the region as the company grows into a new market servicing small ports.

“It seems like small marinas are the types of facilities that are underserved,” Morrill said. “We’ve crafted our dredging program around that need.”

Edward Stratton is a reporter for The Astorian. Contact him at 971-704-1719 or estratton@dailyastorian.com.

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