BATH — Dredging that the Navy says is needed to allow a 510-foot warship to safely transit Maine’s Kennebec River this fall is under way.

The Army Corps of Engineers began the work this week after the Maine Board of Environmental Protection and a federal judge rejected petitions to stop the work.

Dredging is usually done in the winter, but the Army Corps was asked to work this summer to ensure a destroyer built by Bath Iron Works can be delivered to the Navy on schedule.

The shipyard says shifting sands meant that the Spruance’s sonar housing could strike bottom, even at high tide, as it headed downriver to the Atlantic Ocean. The ship is due to leave Bath Iron Works in time for a commissioning ceremony on Oct. 1 in Florida.

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