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Clearwater Harbor Dredge Project Starts

Work started on a nearly $800,000 dredging project in Clearwater Harbor this week.

Little Pass is getting bigger.

Crews working to dredge the shallow pass, which is the main way in and out of Clearwater Harbor for boaters, started a project to increase depth there by a couple feet this week.

The depth of the Clearwater Pass channels is supposed to be eight to 10 feet but in some places it is five and a half and six feet, said Bill Morris, director of the Marine and Aviation department.

The channel got its name because for a time Big Pass was the larger, main route for boaters just to the north of Clearwater Harbor. But, Big Pass now is the beach land bridge walkers use to get from north Clearwater Beach to Caladesi Island.

The Clearwater Harbor area was last dredged about 10 years ago.

The project calls for removing up to 70,000 cubic yards of sand from channels surrounding Clearwater Pass including the cut channels around Clearwater Point to the Beach Marina. The work will also improve flow from Clearwater Pass east to the Intracoastal Waterway. The work should be complete in about four weeks.

The sand will be placed north of and west of the swimming area in an effort to renourish Clearwater Beach.

City leaders with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in April 2011. The projected cost is more than $750,000. Remaining money will be returned to the city.

Call the Marine and Aviation Department at 727-462-6954 or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 904-232-3455.

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