Boaters already dodge large entertaining yachts cruising through Newport Harbor, and come Friday they will have an additional obstacle: tugboats hauling massive barges full of dirt from the Rhine Channel.
The city will begin scooping out generations of industrial waste that has settled in the underwater area near Cannery Village. Once the $4-million project is complete, about 150,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment should be moved from the waterway to the Port of Long Beach.
Already, dredgers have towed two barges — one with a tall yellow excavator — to the harbor's main turning basin.
They plan to move to the narrow channel on the west end of the bay and begin dredging Friday morning, said Chris Miller, the city's harbor resources manager.
"Once the dredgers get out that narrow channel, life will be easy," said Miller, who has been working on the project's logistics. The dredging is planned to be completed by year's end.