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FACT SHEET-Raritan River, New Jersey Federal Navigation Channel

Maintenance of Infrastructure and Stewardship

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Published Dec. 20, 2023

DESCRIPTION:  This navigation asset is located in the north-central part of New Jersey and flows generally southeasterly into Raritan Bay between Perth Amboy and South Amboy, about 24 miles by water south and west of the Battery, New York City.  This asset provides for the following:  a main channel, 25 feet, deep, 300 feet wide, from the turn in NY and NJ Channels, near Great Beds Light to the Raritan Arsenal Wharf, thence 15 feet deep, 200 feet wide, to the Washington Canal, thence 10 feet deep in soft material and 11 feet deep in rock, and generally 100 feet wide, with widening at bends, to the Delaware and Raritan canal entrance at New Brunswick, with a total length of about 13.8 miles;  a turning basin opposite Raritan Arsenal Wharf, 25 feet deep, 300 feet wide and 1,000 feet long;  and a south channel 25 feet deep, 300 feet wide, from its junction with the main channel opposite Keasby to the upper limit of former the NL Industries property, 15 feet deep and 150 feet wide to the Middlesex County Sewerage Authority Dock, thence 10 feet deep and 150 feet wide the junction with the Main Channel and Crab Island.  The project is about 96% complete; the work remaining to be done is the dredging of the South Channel to a depth of 10 feet and 150 feet wide for a length of 1,300 fee to the upper junction with the main channel at Crab Island (this incomplete work is inactive).

AUTHORIZATION:  Authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1919 (P.L. 65-323), modified in 1930 (P.L. 71-520), 1937 (P.L. 75-392), 1940 (P.L. 76-868) and 1962 (P.L. 87-874).  House Resolution (H.R.) 6675 was introduced in August 2018 to deauthorize the portion of the project for navigation known as the Titanium Reach of the South Channel.

COMMERCE:  In 2021, the annual commercial freight traffic reported for this this navigation asset was approximately 966,000 tons, compared to a five-year (2017-2021) annual average of approximately 1 million tons, and consisted of petroleum & petroleum products (fuel oils, gasoline, kerosene), and crude materials (sand & gravel).  This navigation asset specifically supports waterborne fuel transportation to the Buckeye Global Marine Terminals’ Raritan Bay Facility, located along the Raritan River (5 Million barrels capacity; 1 dock berth with 26-foot Mean Low Water (MLW) draft for barge access); this facility offers connectivity to the Colonial pipeline, and is home to a large portion of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategic Gasoline Reserve, instituted following Superstorm Sandy.  The channel also supports a recreational cruise terminal.

BACKGROUND:  This asset was last maintenance dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in December 2021, when approximately 430,000 cubic yards (CY) of dredged material was removed from the Main Channel of the Raritan River, from the Raritan Bay channel entrance to just seaward of the Thomas A. Edison Bridge (U.S. Route 9).

STATUS:  In FY2024, commonly performed Operations & Maintenance (O&M) work, includes expected initiation of sampling & testing, to identify potential dredged material placement sites. Production of an annual hydrographic channel condition survey, and publication of a controlling depth report on the District’s website (https://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/Controlling-Depth-Reports/) is also scheduled for FY2024. 


 Alexander F. Gregory

 Asset / Project Manager

 P: (917) 790-8427

Email: alexander.f.gregory@usace.army.mil

26 Federal Plaza

New York, NY 10278


District Area: NJ # 6, #12