LAMA’s report on the Corps’ Mississippi River Maintenance Forum meeting held yesterday (Wednesday, September 5, 2018) and the corresponding agenda are attached.

The meeting was held by conference call (only) yesterday due to the anticipated impacts of Tropical Storm Gordon.

Please review the attachments for complete details. The agenda can be found here.


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 meeting was held via conference call only yesterday, based on the impacts and interruptions to normal vessel traffic related to Tropical Storm Gordon. The agenda for this meeting as provided by the MVN is attached.

Maintenance Forum Notes September 5, 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 at 3.2 million cubic yards.Baptiste Collette: The Corps has received $13.9 million in supplemental funding that is expected to be sufficient to fund dredging operations to restore full channel dimensions ($6.5 million) and perform rock work to fortify the jetties and channel boundaries ($7.4 million). The MVN intends to conduct a bid opening for this project by early November and expects to award a cutterhead dredge contract by December 2018. MVN announced that it will utilize the funding for rock work in the Spring of 2019 and may utilize LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) surveys to determine the best locations for the proper placement of the rock.

  3. Mississippi River Conditions Update:Current Stage New Orleans: 4.6 feet
    * Projected to remain fairly steady and reach 4.9 feet on October 3, 2018.Current Stage Baton Rouge: 11.7 feet
    * Projected to steadily fall to 12.0 feet by October 3, 2018.

    * NOTE: The long-term Stage Forecasts are based on future rainfall over the next 48- hours only.

    1. 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 full channel dimensions (500 feet) on the Crossings with all three of the dustpan dredges (WALLACE McGEORGE, JADWIN and HURLEY). 
    2. NewOrleansHarbor:

      MISSOURI H: The cutterhead dredge MISSOURI H replaced the cutterhead dredge MIKE HOOKS for the contracted dredging in the New Orleans Harbor. The MISSOURI H is presently dredging from the Poydras Street Wharf to the Jax Brewery Wharves in the New Orleans Harbor.


    3. Southwest Pass (SWP):

      The MVN has restored fully authorized channel conditions in Southwest Pass and all dredging assignments have been completed. The MVN’s hopper dredge WHEELER completed Readiness Exercise #3-2018 on August 29, 2018. The WHEELER is scheduled to conduct Readiness Exercise #4-2018 from September 12th to September 27th.


    4. Head of Passes, Hopper Dredge Disposal Area (HDDA):

      The MVN advertised a bid opening for a cutterhead dredge today, the contractor is to remove up to 12 million cubic yards (mcy) of material from the HDDA (6 mcy in the base contract with options for up to 6 mcy). An awardable bid was made by Weeks Marine, Inc. Weeks may choose to place at least a portion of the removed material in the West Bay Receiving Area. If the West Bay Receiving Area is selected it will require a submerged dredged pipeline be placed across the bottom of the navigation channel. If this method of disposal is selected it will require at least two channel closures, one to place the pipeline across the channel and one to remove the pipeline when the project is completed. The work is expected to begin in October 2018, if the channel closures are needed the navigation industry and Pilot Associations will be convened to sort through the details and given time to advise their memberships of the scheduled closures.


    5. Southwest Pass Stone Foreshore Dike & Jetty Repair:

      A contract was awarded to EFT Diversified, Inc. on July 16, 2018 to make repairs to the foreshore rocks and the jetties that protect the deep-draft channel in Southwest Pass. The rock placement operations are expected to begin by early October 2018. The contractor will advise the navigation industry and Pilot Associations of the equipment locations and configurations to assist with maintaining transit safety.

  4. Next Meeting:The next Forum meeting is scheduled for 0900 hours on October 3, 2018, at the MVN District Assembly Room A.