Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 13119

The Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) continues responding to the active shoaling in Southwest Pass (SWP) deposited during the elevated river stages. There are presently three hopper dredges and one cutterhead working to restore and maintain the Ship Channel in the area of SWP.  The government hopper dredge McFARLAND was approved for up to 45-days of work under Red Flag Emergency Call Out #2-2019, after no bids were received to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #3-2019.  The MVN will also advertise Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #4-2019 tomorrow, Friday, February 1, 2019. 

TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS:

UPDATE: The Bar Pilots have reduced their maximum draft recommendation to 44 feet (freshwater) in response to severe shoaling at the Head of Passes.  This will now be the controlling draft for vessels transiting Southwest Pass.  This draft reduction became effective at 1000 hours today (January 31, 2019) and the official notice from the Bar Pilots announcing this position from Mile 1.5 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to the Southwest Pass Sea Buoy is attached.  The latest survey of the Head of Passes is also attached.

The Crescent River Ports Pilots Association (CRPPA) continue with their maximum draft recommendation to 45 feet (freshwater) for one-way traffic to the Venice Jump.  Although 44 feet will be the controlling draft recommendation for vessels transiting SWP.  The CRPPA are also recommending one-way traffic for two vessels with drafts over 42 feet not to meet between Mile 10.5 AHP to Mile 9.5 AHP remains in effect.  

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

NEWPORT:  The industry hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging at Cubits Gap from approximately Mile 3.5 AHP to Mile 2.5 AHP.  The NEWPORT began dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2019 in SWP on November 28, 2018.  The MVN intends to exercise the options on the NEWPORT’s contract to keep the hopper dredge working until approximately May 15th

WHEELER:  The Corps’ hopper dredge WHEELER is presently dredging in the area of the Head of Passes (Mile 1 AHP to Mile Below Head of Passes [BHP]), focusing on the most deficient reach of the Ship Channel.  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 Red Flag Emergency Call Out #1-2019 (30-days).  The Corps hopper dredge WHEELER continues working under the Red Flag Emergency Call Out #1-2019 (30-days) as approved on January 11, 2019.  The Red Flag assignment will keep the WHEELER dredging in SWP until approximately February 10, 2019.

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is presently being refueled but is expected to resume dredging at the Head of Passes (Mile 1.0 AHP to Mile 1.0 BHP) later today.  The GLENN EDWARDS commenced dredging on December 18, 2018 and is working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #6-2018.  The MVN has modified the GLENN EDWARDS contract to extend dredging in SWP until March 1, 2019.

McFARLAND:  The Corps’ hopper dredge McFARLAND is expected to commence dredging in SWP under Red Flag Emergency Call Out #2-2019 (up to 45-days) on Monday, February 4, 2019. 

The river crested on the Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) at 15.66 feet at 1200 hours on January 23, 2019. The latest forecasts continue to predict the stage level remaining steady for 10 days or so and then beginning a very slow fall.

The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1100 hours today was 14.48 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.13 feet.  

The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1100 hours today was 37.03 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.10 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.

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

Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 13119

LMR Dredging Update 13119

Members,

The Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) continues responding to the active shoaling in Southwest Pass (SWP) deposited during the elevated river stages. There are presently three hopper dredges and one cutterhead working to restore and maintain the Ship Channel in the area of SWP.The government hopper dredge McFARLAND was approved for up to 45-days of work under Red Flag Emergency Call Out #2-2019, after no bids were received to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #3-2019. The MVN will also advertise Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #4-2019 tomorrow, Friday, February 1, 2019.

TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS:

UPDATE: The Bar Pilots have reduced their maximum draft recommendation to 44 feet (freshwater) in response to severe shoaling at the Head of Passes. This will now be the controlling draft for vessels transiting Southwest Pass. This draft reduction became effective at 1000 hours today (January 31, 2019) and the official notice from the Bar Pilots announcing this position from Mile 1.5 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to the Southwest Pass Sea Buoy is attached. The latest survey of the Head of Passes is also attached.

The Crescent River Ports Pilots Association (CRPPA) continue with their maximum draft recommendation to 45 feet (freshwater) for one-way traffic to the Venice Jump. Although 44 feet will be the controlling draft recommendation for vessels transiting SWP. The CRPPA are also recommending one-way traffic for two vessels with drafts over 42 feet not to meet between Mile 10.5 AHP to Mile 9.5 AHP remains in effect.

“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”

The Bar and Federal Pilots continue to enforce the flocculation-based transit restriction for all inbound vessels arriving Southwest Pass (inbound) 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.” This restriction first became effective at 1000 hours on, Monday, November 26, 2018.

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

NEWPORT: The industry hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging at Cubits Gap from approximately Mile 3.5 AHP to Mile 2.5 AHP. The NEWPORT began dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2019 in SWP on November 28, 2018. The MVN intends to exercise the options on the NEWPORT’s contract to keep the hopper dredge working until approximately May 15th.

WHEELER: The Corps’ hopper dredge WHEELER is presently dredging in the area of the Head of Passes (Mile 1 AHP to Mile Below Head of Passes [BHP]), focusing on the most deficient reach of the Ship Channel. 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 Red Flag Emergency Call Out #1-2019 (30-days). The Corps hopper dredge WHEELER continues working under the Red Flag Emergency Call Out #1-2019 (30-days) as approved on January 11, 2019. The Red Flag assignment will keep the WHEELER dredging in SWP until approximately February 10, 2019.

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is presently being refueled but is expected to resume dredging at the Head of Passes (Mile 1.0 AHP to Mile 1.0 BHP) later today. The GLENN EDWARDS commenced dredging on December 18, 2018 and is working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #6-2018. The MVN has modified the GLENN EDWARDS contract to extend dredging in SWP until March 1, 2019.

McFARLAND: The Corps’ hopper dredge McFARLAND is expected to commence dredging in SWP under Red Flag Emergency Call Out #2-2019 (up to 45-days) on Monday, February 4, 2019.

The river crested on the Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) at 15.66 feet at 1200 hours on January 23, 2019. The latest forecasts continue to predict the stage level remaining steady for 10 days or so and then beginning a very slow fall.

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

R.S. WEEKS: The industry cutterhead dredge R.S. WEEKS (Weeks Marine) is presently located at Mile 5.7 BHP and is dredging on assignment from Mile 5.0 BHP to Mile 6.0 BHP on the western channel edge. The cutterhead was moved from the previous assignment at Mile 10.5 BHP to 17.8 BHP after reaching approximately Mile 13.8 BHP. The MVN moved the cutterhead to address this shoal that was extending further channelward. The cutterhead started dredging in SWP on December 15, 2018. The R.S. WEEKS removed 2.5 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 in mid-February 2019 when it will be replaced on the SWP contract by the cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK.

BAR Pilots

Recommended draft of 44′

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

RE: SOUTHWEST PASS, RECOMMENDED TRANSIT DRAFT

The Bar Pilots for the Port of New Orleans recommend that vessels transiting Southwest Pass from the Sea Buoy (Entrance Lighted Whistle Buoy “SW”) to Mile 1.5 above Head of Passes should not have a deep transit draft in fresh water greater than Forty-Four feet (44 feet).

This draft recommendation, which may be increased or decreased at any time as conditions warrant, becomes effective at 1000 hours CST on January 31, 2019.

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