Maryland Dredged Material Management Program

The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) launched this program to explore ways to reuse dredged materials from Baltimore Harbor, where 1.5 million cubic yards of material must be removed every year to keep channels and anchorages open. MPA awarded the first contract under this program to Schnabel. Our task was to conduct a beneficial-use demonstration project that blended dredged material with steel slag fines to produce fill materials for general use, highway embankments and structural grade use. The focus of our work was the Cox Creek area of the harbor, where roughly 500,000 cubic yards of material is dredged annually.

The project included characterization of the dredged material and slag fines, arsenic immobilization studies (present in the dredged material), geotechnical laboratory studies, and testing of the blended material in embankment construction. Five single-lane “road” embankments were constructed, with each being subjected to geotechnical and environmental testing both immediately after construction and 12 months later.

Our work provided a comprehensive set of geotechnical and geochemical data by which to evaluate potential use of this blended material for fill and construction, resulting in substantial cost savings to both MPA and the end user. This project earned the ACEC Maryland Engineering Excellence Award, Outstanding Project in 2012.