MVN 60-Day Lock Status Forecast 8618

The Corps’ Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) District’s Lock and Waterway Status 60-Day Forecast as issued today (August 6, 2018) is attached.

The status report updates conditions on the on the Bayou Boeuf, Bayou Sorrel and Calcasieu Locks.

The information on the Pintle Replacement at the Bayou Boeuf Lock is reproduced below:

“Beginning 14 August 2018 at 7am, Bayou Boeuf Lock will close to navigation 24hrs per day until 18 August 2018 at 7 pm due to gate repairs. Additional closures are expected to complete the gate repairs and will be posted on the lock’s website.”

The announcement of the upcoming and scheduled closure of the Bayou Sorrel Lock is reproduced below: 

“Commencing on approximately 22 August 2018 and continuing until approximately 22 November 2018, Bayou Sorrel Lock will be closed to navigation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, due to dewatering operations at the south end gates.”

The intermittent and scheduled closures at the Calcasieu Lock due to ongoing chamber guide wall work is reproduced below:

“Calcasieu Lock will be closed to navigation intermittently Monday through Thursday from 6:30 am until 6:30 pm each day or as indicated by the Corps. This schedule will continue until approximately 1 December 2019.” 

The following update on the operations at the Calcasieu Lock was previously distributed by the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association:

USACE, USCG and GICA are continuing efforts to mitigate traffic delays at Calcasieu Lock during construction of new south guidewall. Several measures have been implemented in the last week, and as a result of meetings with USACE and USCG leadership at last week’s GICA Seminar in New Orleans.

Measures Taken:

  • USACE has modified the construction work schedule from 5 days a week x 10 hours / day to 4 days a week x 12 hours / day – This results in 4 days of construction work and 3 consecutive days of locking; and appears to be marginally more effective at reducing the queue during the locking extended locking period. USACE has committed to further modifying construction schedule as needed.
  • USACE is installing guide pilings to better protect barges, piling template and newly driven piles from damage. This is expected to also marginally improve the speed of lockings.  A total of 22 piles are planned, spaced 50’ apart and at the 75’ chamber width. Expect all piles will be in place this week. Further, USACE is considering designs for additional fender protection for the piling template.
  • Industry provided assist boats continue to work lockings. Additional boats are welcome.
  • USACE is implementing a Calcasieu Lock SOP for managing lock queues. See attached

Additional planned measures:

  • USCG VTS Port Arthur may assist with managing vessel traffic to assure that tows in queue are moving up in an efficient manner and ready to lock when called.
  • GICA is launching a Facebook page, similar to that used during the IHNC Lock closure and GIWW Alternate Route implementation, to provide a platform for real-time exchange of information among tow Captains regarding lockings. It will also serve to get the word out from USACE and USCG on traffic management issues, schedule changes, etc.

Calcasieu Lock Onsite Meeting Scheduled  GICA, USACE and USCG have scheduled an onsite meeting at the Lock for 1000, Friday, August 10, 2018. Interested industry Port Captains plus one active boat Captain each are invited to attend. The purpose is for industry reps to observe on going lockings, see challenges and issues first hand, and discuss how operations may be improved with USACE and USCG personnel.  Please respond with names of attendees.

Hurricane Planning:  Clearly a queue of the current size, in this part of the GIWW as a hurricane approaches, will present challenges for navigating to safe havens. Tow companies are urged to identify now where their boats (should they be in the queue when a storm is approaching) will plan to go. It’s likely that safe havens in the Port Arthur and Lake Charles areas will fill up quickly. USCG Sector Commanders have asked GICA to provide them with this consolidated information for their hurricane preparation planning. Please contact GICA as soon as practical with your plans.

Port Coordination Team (PCT) calls will be extremely important if a storm enters the Gulf and threatens this area. They will be used to both collect and disseminate info on safe haven routes. PCT calls will be convened at earliest opportunity when potential storm threat is forecasted in order determine when to begin running continuous lockings and conduct a timely evacuation of the area. Industry inputs will be critical to the success of this effort.  Anticipate USCG will enact safety zones to enable one-way traffic, when appropriate, to clear tows to the safer side of the storm and prevent additional traffic from entering and causing more congestion.  Mariners should review the Gulf Inland Waterways Joint Hurricane Response Protocol for a summary of PCT processes.


SUBJECT: Calcasieu Lock SOP During Guidewall Construction 2018

LOCATION: The Calcasieu Lock is located near the intersection of the Calcasieu River and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) near Mile 238 of the GIWW in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. The site is approximately 10 miles South of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

PURPOSE: The structure serves as a barrier preventing salt water intrusion from the Calcasieu River on the West into the rice-growing areas of the Mermentau Basin via the GIWW. Calcasieu Lock acts to facilitate navigation while ensuring an adequate supply of fresh water for rice production.

LOCK OPERATIONS: Lock operation for navigation consists of equalizing the chamber water level with the level of the Mermentau Basin or the Calcasieu River by opening the appropriate gates, admitting the vessel, closing the gates, equalizing the chamber water level to the opposite water stage by opening the opposite gates and permitting the vessel to leave the lock. When currents permit, vessels pass thru the lock in open pass mode with both sets of gates open. This is done when water needs to be drained from the Mermentau River Basin. The following actions will take place for lockages during the current construction period:

  1. We will initially lock 3 tows in one direction only, then switch back to 3 tows locking the opposite direction. This may increase as needed should additional industry furnished assist boats become available.
  2. If the tow/vessel on lock turn does not respond within a reasonable time, they will lose their place and fall to the back of the queue. This will be at the discretion of the head lock operator in union with the Lockmaster.
  3. Based upon the availability of personnel provided by the navigation industry, a port captain will be supplied at no expense to the Government to stand watch and expedite lockages by assisting the head lock operator manage lock turn. The USCG, Sector Port Arthur has also volunteered to assist with VTS ops as needed.
  4. During morning, night and weekend locking periods the Black Bayou Bridge will remain open as frequently as possible to ensure efficient navigation passage through the bridge. This has been coordinated with USCG D8 Bridge Section.
  5. Guide pilings are installed to provide a more safe and efficient passage for tows. We will maintain a 75 ft wide lock chamber for our customers.
  6. The contractor will work 4 /12-hr. day work weeks, Monday-Thursday to ensure a standing 3-day weekend where we are open 24/hrs for lockages.

MVN 60-Day Lock Status Forecast 8618.pdf