Bids for Columbia dredging well above estimates

Bids for dredging to deepen the Columbia River shipping channel are running higher than predicted, with the lowest coming in 69 percent above government estimates. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had hoped to save money by contracting out the job of deepening the first 25 miles of the 103-mile stretch by three feet and at the same time having the low bidder perform maintenance dredging to keep the shipping channel 40 feet deep.