Management of a dredging project requires a systematic, well thought out plan from the initiation of the project through construction and maintenance.

Types of dredging projects

Dredging projects are usually categorised into three groups – capital, maintenance and remedial – and each of these dredging processes occurs in four phases – excavation, lifting, transportation and placement. Yet each of these varies considerably from each other. Each dredging project will present its own unique set of issues and risks and each will require careful management.

Life cycle approach

To meet the demands, an integrated or life cycle project management approach and structure should be used. This should be collaborative and involve all parties and disciplines from the outset. These parties include:

  • planners;
  • design, cost and construction engineers;
  • dredging experts;
  • environmental scientists;
  • economists;
  • financial planners; and
  • transportation specialists.

The integrated and collaborative project management process ensures that all these players are involved throughout the process and not only in what is perceived as their “special” phases of the project.
Although the project evolves through the various disciplines, certainly each discipline and phase closely impacts on the others. Only through integration of the disciplines will the project avoid oversights, risks and costly errors.

Process-related management practices

A variety of management practices are related to the actual process of dredging, that is, methods, strategies and principles of operation to be used during and after the construction phase.

These process-related management practices apply to all phases of the project including the actual dredging operation as well as to the transportation and placement of dredged material. They include:

  • the selection and possible modification of equipment,
  • the modes of construction, i.e., dredging and reclamation methods, and
  • control tools such as monitoring and feedback.


Perhaps the greatest challenge in the project development and management process is the need to consider the project in the context of the environment. Environment is a thread through all projects and includes equipment, modes and methods of construction, and monitoring.

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