Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 11719

The Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) is responding to active shoaling in Southwest Pass (SWP) deposited during the extended period of elevated river stages. The Corps hopper dredge WHEELER was approved for 30 days of work under the Red Flag Emergency Call Out #1-2019 that was approved on January 11, 2019.  The Red Flag assignment will keep the WHEELER dredging in SWP until approximately February 10, 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 MVN continues to pursue all options to keep the dredges working on problem areas in order to restore federally authorized channel dimensions. 

The Mississippi River Ship Channel was reopened to vessel traffic from Mile 18 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 15 AHP last night at approximately 2000 hours.  The Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Lower Mississippi River established a VTS Measure from Mile 18.3 AHP to Mile 15 BHP in response to the recovery operation for the work boat that sank yesterday at approximately Mile 17.3 AHP.

The VTS Measure enacted the following provisions:

1) Boothville Anchorage is closed to all vessels above MM 15.0 AHP.

2) All vessels shall transit MM 15.0 to 18.3 AHP at minimum safe speed to minimize wake.

The Corps St. Louis District’s latest Navigation Channel Condition Status Report issued on January 16, 2019 is also attached and highlights water levels receding in their reach of the Mississippi River, including Cairo (IL) with yesterday’s reading of 41.7 feet and forecast to read 36.3 feet next week and then falling to 29 feet in two weeks.

TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT VENICE JUMP:

The Crescent River Ports Pilots Association (CRPPA) continue with their maximum draft recommendation of 45 feet (freshwater) with one-way traffic for two vessels with drafts over 42 feet meeting between Mile 10.5 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 9.5 AHP. 

“Maximum freshwater draft 45’00”

One way traffic for 2 vessels over 42’, from 1/2 mile above to 1/2 mile below the Jump MM 10 AHOP”

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

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is presently dredging on assignment at Cubits Gap from approximately Mile 4.2 AHP to Mile 2.2 AHP.  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.

 However, the Corps is working to extend the GLENN EDWARDS contract until March 1, 2019, to help restore the channel with the latest crest predicted to reach 15.5 feet on January 21st.  The forecast indicates the crest stage will remain level at 15.5 feet until January 25th before beginning a slow fall.  (Carrollton Gauge 15.5 feet from January 21st to 25th.)

 NEWPORT:  The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging from Mile 2.8 Below Head of Passes (BHP) to Mile 3.4 BHP.  The NEWPORT began dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2019 in SWP on November 28, 2018.  The MVN will most likely extend the NEWPORT’s contract by exercising full contract options, in order to keep the hopper dredge working until approximately May 15th.

 WHEELER:  The Corp’s hopper dredge WHEELER is now dredging on the jetty end of SWP from Mile 17.8 BHP to Mile  19.5 BHP under the Red Flag Emergency Call Out #1-2019.  The WHEELER worked under Readiness Exercise #1-2019 from Monday, January 7, 2019 until 1530 hours on Friday, January 11, 2019 before switching over to the Red Flag Call Out assignment.

The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1300 hours today was 15.08 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.11 feet.

The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1300 hours today was 38.59 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.20 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.

Channel Condition Status 16 January 2019[2].pdf

Channel Condition Status 16 January 2019[2].pdf

Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 11719

LMR Dredging Update 11719.pdf

The Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) is responding to active shoaling in Southwest Pass (SWP) deposited during the extended period of elevated river stages. The Corps hopper dredge WHEELER was approved for 30 days of work under the Red Flag Emergency Call Out #1-2019 that was approved on January 11, 2019. The Red Flag assignment will keep the WHEELER dredging in SWP until approximately February 10, 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 MVN continues to pursue all options to keep the dredges working on problem areas to maintain and restore federally authorized channel dimensions.

TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT CUBITS GAP:

The Crescent River Ports Pilots Association (CRPPA) continue with their maximum draft recommendation to 45 feet (freshwater) but revised the area for one-way traffic to the Venice Jump. The new reach for one-way traffic for two vessels with drafts over 42 feet not to meet is between Mile 10.5 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 9.5 AHP.

“Maximum freshwater draft 45’00”
One way traffic for 2 vessels over 42’, from 1/2 mile above to 1/2 mile below the Jump MM 10 AHOP”

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):

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is presently dredging on assignment at Cubits Gap from approximately Mile 4.2 AHP to Mile 2.2 AHP. 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.

However, the Corps is working to extend the GLENN EDWARDS contract until March 1, 2019, to help restore the channel with the latest crest predicted to reach 15.5 feet on January 21st. The forecast indicates the crest stage will remain level at 15.5 feet until January 25thbefore beginning a slow fall.

NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging from Mile 2.8 Below Head of Passes (BHP) to Mile 3.4 BHP. The NEWPORT began dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2019 in SWP on November 28, 2018. The MVN will most likely extend the NEWPORT’s contract by exercising full contract options, in order to keep the hopper dredge working until approximately May 15th.

WHEELER: The Corp’s hopper dredge WHEELER is now dredging on the jetty end of SWP from Mile 17.8 BHP to Mile 19.5 BHP under the Red Flag Emergency Call Out #1-2019. The WHEELER worked under Readiness Exercise #1-2019 from Monday, January 7, 2019 until 1530 hours on Friday, January 11, 2019 before switching over to the Red Flag Call Out assignment.

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 13.45 Below Head of Passes (BHP) on the eastern channel edge. The cutterhead’s extended assignment is from Mile 10.5 BHP to 17.8 BHP, the cutterhead started dredging on December 15, 2018. The R.S. WEEKS removed 2 million cubic yards (mcy) of material from the Hopper Dredge Disposal Area (HDDA) before being released from that contract (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 by February 2019 when it will be replaced on the SWP contract by the cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK.

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.