NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Twelve companies from eight states have contracts for a total of up to $500 million in dredging for the Army Corps of Engineers. A Defense Department news release says they'll dredge throughout the South Atlantic Division through Dec. 21, 2013.

Two Louisiana companies are Weeks Marine Inc. of Covington and Mike Hooks Inc. of Westlake.

Others include Cottrell Contracting Corp. and Norfolk Dredging Co., both of Chesapeake, Va.; Marinex Construction Inc., and Southern Dredging Co., Inc., both of Charleston, S.C.; and, in Florida, Orion Marine Construction Inc., of Tampa, and Cavache Inc., of Fort Lauderdale.

The rest are Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting Co. LLC, Quincy, Mass.; Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. LLC, Oak Brook, Ill.; Dutra Dredging Co., San Rafael, Calif.; and Manson Construction Co., Seattle, Wash.

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