Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 11019

The Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) is responding to shoaling in Southwest Pass (SWP) created by the elevated river stages. The MVN advertised a hopper bid earlier today (Thursday, January 10, 2019) and did not receive any bids from the dredge industry.  The Corps intends to begin the Emergency Call Out process often referred to as the Red Flag Procedure, this would allow a government hopper dredge, presumably the WHEELER, to work on the advertised hopper dredge contract (Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental #2-2019).  There are three hopper dredges (including the WHEELER) and one cutterhead working to restore and maintain the Ship Channel in the area of SWP.  The Crescent and Bar Pilots continue to coordinate moving vessel convoys in one direction at a time on the Mississippi River in an effort to reduce the queue of backlogged vessels.  The MVN is pursuing all options to keep dredges working in order to restore federally authorized channel dimensions.

 

The current Extended Streamflow Prediction for the Carrollton Gauge New Orleans indicates a crest of 15 feet on January 21, 2019 with a slow fall beginning shortly after that.  The MVN indicates that it must keep at least three hoppers dredges and the cutterhead dredge to restore fully authorized channel dimensions while fighting to recover the channel.  There have been two recent vessel groundings in the area of Cubits Gap, which remains the most deficient area of the channel.  Much of the channel below Venice is severely deficient,  the MVN surveys indicate a narrowing of the channel in some areas to approximately 200 feet wide.  The authorized channel dimensions in this reach of the Ship Channel are 45 feet by 750 feet wide, this morning there were approximately 45 ships in the Southwest Pass Anchorage waiting to enter Southwest Pass.

 

UPDATED: TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT CUBITS GAP:

 

The Crescent River Ports Pilots Association (CRPPA) have adjusted their maximum allowable draft after the grounding and refloating of the M/V PICTOR at Cubits Gap this morning.  The maximum freshwater draft has been reduced to 44 feet (freshwater) and one-way traffic has been implemented from Mile 3.8 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 1.8 AHP or “1 mile above to 1 mile below the Lower Gap Light.”

 

HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP): 

NEWPORT:  The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging from Mile 0.75 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 0.5 AHP.  The NEWPORT began dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2019 in SWP on November 28, 2018.  The MVN is working to extend this contract to keep the hopper dredge working until the Ship Channel is recovered.

WHEELER: The Corp’s hopper dredge WHEELER continues dredging at Cubits Gap from Mile 3.5 AHP to Mile 2.5 AHP under Readiness Exercise #1-2019.  The Readiness Exercise began on Monday, January 7, 2019 and is expected to last until approximately January 19, 2019.  The WHEELER’s time could be extended if the Red Flag request is approved.

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) resumed dredging last night after completing repairs in the Lower Venice Anchorage.  The GLENN EDWARDS is presently dredging on assignment from the Head of Passes (Mile 0) to Mile 1.5 BHP.  The GLENN EDWARDS commenced dredging on December 18, 2018 and is working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #6-2018.  The GLENN EDWARDS is expected to complete its current contract on January 26, 2019.  The Corps is working to extend the GLENN EDWARDS contract until March 1, 2019, to help restore authorized channel dimensions.

The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1200 hours today was 14.00 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.26 feet.

The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1200 hours today was 36.22 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.44 feet.

The graph below is reproduced from NOAA’s National Weather Service website and represents an experimental product to account for the complexity of accurately predicting long-range precipitation.  This forecast projects stage levels based on expected precipitation for 2 days (top) and 16 days (bottom) and was developed within the North American Ensemble Forecast System (NAEFS) computer model and highlights Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF).  Along with the forecasts, a shaded area is also provided to indicate uncertainty for the forecast each day in the future.   These plots are experimental and not an official forecast product.

 

NORL1_67_28d_forecast_error_plot.png

Please see the attached reports for complete details related to transit restrictions and dredge assignments.

 

Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 11019

LMR Dredging Update 11019.pdf

The Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) is responding to shoaling in Southwest Pass (SWP) created by the elevated river stages. The MVN advertised a hopper bid earlier today (Thursday, January 10, 2019) and did not receive any bids from the dredge industry. The Corps intends to begin the Emergency Call Out process often referred to as the Red Flag Procedure, this would allow a government hopper dredge, presumably the WHEELER, to work on the advertised hopper dredge contract (Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental #2-2019). There are three hopper dredges (including the WHEELER) and one cutterhead working to restore and maintain the Ship Channel in the area of SWP. The Crescent and Bar Pilots continue to coordinate moving vessel convoys in one direction at a time on the Mississippi River in an effort to reduce the queue of backlogged vessels. The MVN is pursuing all options to keep dredges working in order to restore federally authorized channel dimensions.

UPDATED: TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT CUBITS GAP:

The Crescent River Ports Pilots Association (CRPPA) have adjusted their maximum allowable draft after the grounding and refloating of the M/V PICTOR at Cubits Gap this morning. The maximum freshwater draft has been reduced to 44 feet (freshwater) and one-way traffic has been implemented from Mile 3.8 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 1.8 AHP or “1 mile above to 1 mile below the Lower Gap Light.”

TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):

The Bar Pilots continue to utilize the flocculation-based transit restriction for all inbound vessels arriving Southwest Pass with a freshwater draft of 38-feet or greater. Inbound vessels with a draft of 38-feet or greater are only allowed to enter SWP “between 3 hours after low tide, to 3 hours after high tide at SWP.” The restriction became effective at 1000 hours on, Monday, November 26, 2018. The official notice as released by the Bar Pilots is attached, please refer to it for complete details.

The Federal Pilots implemented a similar flocculation-based restriction for inbound vessels with a draft of 38-feet or greater on November 27, 2018. The official notice is also attached.

HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):

NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging from Mile 0.75 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 0.5 AHP. The NEWPORT began dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2019 in SWP on November 28, 2018. The MVN is working to extend this contract to keep the hopper dredge working until the Ship Channel is recovered.

WHEELER: The Corp’s hopper dredge WHEELER continues dredging at Cubits Gap from Mile 3.5 AHP to Mile 2.5 AHP under Readiness Exercise #1-2019. The Readiness Exercise began on Monday, January 7, 2019 and is expected to last until approximately January 19, 2019. The WHEELER’s time could be extended if the Red Flag request is approved.

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) resumed dredging last night after completing repairs in the Lower Venice Anchorage. The GLENN EDWARDS is presently dredging on assignment from the Head of Passes (Mile 0) to Mile 1.5 BHP. The GLENN EDWARDS commenced dredging on December 18, 2018 and is working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #6-2018. The GLENN EDWARDS is expected to complete its current contract on January 26, 2019. The Corps is working to extend the GLENN EDWARDS contract until March 1, 2019, to help restore authorized channel dimensions.

CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):

R.S. WEEKS: The industry cutterhead dredge R.S. WEEKS (Weeks Marine) is presently dredging at approximately Mile 12.8 Below Head of Passes (BHP) on the eastern channel edge. The cutterhead began dredging on assignment from Mile 10.5 BHP to 17.8 BHP on December 15, 2018. The R.S. WEEKS previously removed 2.5 million cubic yards (mcy) of material from the Hopper Dredge Disposal Area (HDDA) before being released from that contract (to remove a total of 12 mcy from the HDDA) to respond to Southwest Pass Cuttherhead Rental Contract #1-2019.

The R.S. WEEKS is expected to return to the HDDA contract later this month when the cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK will replace it on this assignment in SWP (Mile 10.5 to Mile 17.8 BHP).

Associated Branch Pilots

Bar Pilot Flocculation Notice 112618.pdf

RE: SOUTHWEST PASS, TRANSIT RESTRICTION DUE TO FLOCCULATION

The Bar Pilots for the Port of New Orleans restrict inbound vessels with a deep fresh water draft of Thirty-Eight feet (38) or greater to transit Southwest Pass from the Sea Buoy (Entrance Lighted Whistle Buoy “SW”) to mile 1.5 above Head of Passes “between 3 hours after low tide, to 3 hours after high tide at SWP”.

The restriction becomes effective at 1000 hours on November 26, 2018.

Nothing in the recommendations should be construed as limiting a pilot in the exercise of their judgment.

ASSOCIATED BRANCH PILOTS

 

Federal Pilots

Due to the presence of flocculation; effective immediately, The Federal Pilots of Louisiana recommendthat any inbound vessels with a fresh water draft of 38’ or greater shall enter SWP 3 hours after low tide to 3hours after high tide.