More than 16 million cubic yards of material must be removed during initial construction. Of that amount, approximately 12 million cubic yards of silt, clay, sand and gravel will be dredged from the river portion of the project. The bulk of the dredging is being performed by hopper and hydraulic pipeline dredges, with a bucket dredge used for rock removal in the Marcus Hook area. The river material is being placed at five existing federal upland confined disposal facilities (CDFs) in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. (All these sites have been used for channel maintenance ever since it was deepened to 40 feet in the early 1940s, and have more than enough long-term capacity to continue in that role for at least 50 years after the deepening is complete.)
The remaining 4 million cubic yards is primarily good quality sand from the Delaware Bay, to be dredged and placed as beachfill for beneficial use at Kelly Island, Del. (wetland restoration) and at Broadkill Beach, Del. (coastal storm damage reduction).