Channel dredging back on schedule

New bids for the first phase of deepening the Columbia River channel are closer to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates, putting the project on track for a timely start-up, corps officials said. Three companies presented their cost estimates to get the project under way as early as this month. The lowest bid was from Illinois-based Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, which came in at about $10.6 million, well within the 25 percent overshot range allowed by the corps. The corps estimate for the work was $9 million.