PORTLAND, Maine — Portland has approved a $280,000 project to dredge the city’s cruise ship terminal.

The Board of Harbor Commissioners on Thursday approved a permit that will allow a contractor to dredge Ocean Gateway Pier II — the so-called megaberth — for the world’s largest cruise ships.

The state-funded project will begin immediately so it can be finished in time for the cruise ship season in June.

Water depth became an issue in September when a cruise ship left the pier over concern about an astronomically low tide that could have left the vessel with less than a foot of clearance between the hull and the harbor floor.

The Portland Press Herald reports that dredging with increase the depth from 28 feet to 35 feet below mean sea level.