LAMA’s Corps Mississippi River Maintenance Forum Meeting Notes 71118

The Corps’ Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) holds monthly meetings to discuss channel conditions and related issues directly with the maritime industry. These meetings are usually scheduled for 0900 hours on the first Wednesday of the month. LAMA encourages our members to attend these meetings, which are open to the public with advanced notice of attendance. The agenda for this meeting as provided by the MVN is attached.

Maintenance Forum Notes July 11, 2018

  1. Introductions
  2. Southeast Waterways Update:
    Tiger Pass: No changes, the MVN last surveyed Tiger Pass on February 22, 2018, although an old survey identified a controlling depth of approximately 1 foot Mean Low Gulf (MLG) between Mile 9.5 to Mile 10.5 (jetty end). The last survey effort could not be completed the because of the extreme shoaling but provided enough information to update the estimated amount of material in the channel. Approximately 3 million cubic yards of material would need to be removed to restore authorized channel dimensions.
    Baptiste Collette: No changes, the Corps has received supplemental funding that is expected to be sufficient to fund dredging to restore full channel dimensions and perform rock work to fortify the channel boundaries. A survey from early April indicated channel depths ranging from 11-14 feet MLG at full width in the recently dredged reach, with a shoal identified near Mile 10 having a controlling depth of approximately 9 feet MLG.
  3. Mississippi River Conditions Update: Current Stage New Orleans: 7.6 feet yesterday (Wednesday, July 11, 2018). Projected to steadily fall to 4.4 feet by August 7, 2018.Current Stage Baton Rouge: 24.2 feet yesterday (Wednesday, July 11, 2018). Projected to steadily fall to 14.6 feet by August 7, 2018.

    Crossings Between Baton Rouge and New Orleans:
    The latest surveys and dredge locations for the Crossings are included in the attached agenda. The MVN continues dredging at least the central 250 feet of channel on the majority of the Crossings with the three dustpan dredges (WALLACE McGEORGE, JADWIN and HURLEY). The MVN indicates their ability to respond to shoaling on the Crossings could be limited based on inadequate funding by mid-August.

    The MVN released the industry cutterhead dredge MIKE HOOKS (Mike Hooks, Inc.) to work directly for the Port of New Orleans. The cutterhead is expected to complete the work for the Port by July 15, 2018. The cutterhead will then begin dredging under contract for MVN. The MVN expects to use cutterhead dredge between Henry Clay Avenue Wharf and Nashville Avenue Wharf (Berth A).

    Southwest Pass (SWP):
    The MVN has restored fully authorized channel conditions in Southwest Pass and all dredging assignments have been completed. The MVN hopper dredge WHEELER completed Readiness Exercise #1-2018 on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. The WHEELER is scheduled to perform Readiness Exercise #2-2018 on the Calcasieu River (Lake Charles) from July 17 to August 1, 2018. The WHEELER will have two remaining Readiness Exercises this Fiscal Year which will mostly likely be utilized in Southwest Pass or on the Crossings Above New Orleans.

    South Pass:
    The channel remains deficient and, based on limited funding there are no plans to dredge South Pass.

    Barataria Basin Ridge and Marsh Creation – Spanish Pass Increment:
    The Coastal Protection Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) and a representative of Baird Engineering made a presentation on a the upcoming work to survey and collect soil borings in the area of the Venice Anchorages (Upper and Lower) and Boothville Anchorage. The sites were permitted as borrow areas for the National Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program’s (NRDA) project to restore the ridge along Spanish Pass. The navigation interests and pilot representatives present raised concerns related to the scope of the actual project, but no issues were raised regarding the performance of the surveys and collection of the soil borings. The main concerns are related to the proposal to dredge in the borrow areas to a depth of 80 feet, if allowed this could indeed change the hydrology in the adjacent Ship Channel. A map detailing the area of work including the proposed borrow sites is attached.

  4. Next Meeting: The next Forum meeting is scheduled for 0900 hours on August 1, 2018, at the MVN District Assembly Room A.