Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 2519

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. 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 MVN received no bids to the advertisement of Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #4-2019 on Friday, February 1, 2019. At that time the MVN began the Emergency Callout Procedure by issuing the Yellow Flag Request and also announced the advertisement of Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #5-2019 that was completed earlier today.  There was one bid received to today’s advertisement (#5-2019).  Today’s bid was significantly over the Government Estimate and could not be awarded, but MVN is working to resolve this discrepancy in order to be able to secure an additional hopper dredge.    

The dredges working to restore the Ship Channel continue to be impacted by heavy fog, but were able to get back to work this afternoon.  The Corps Survey Vessels have also been unable to run surveys because of the lack of visibility related to the fog.

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):

McFARLAND: The Corps’ hopper dredge McFARLAND commenced dredging at the Venice Jump today at approximately Mile 10.5 AHP working under Red Flag Emergency Call Out #2-2019.  The Red Flag was approved after  receiving no bids to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #3-2019.

NEWPORT:  The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging at Cubits Gap (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 at the Head of Passes.  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 Red Flag assignment will keep the WHEELER dredging in SWP until approximately February 12, 2019.  MVN is also working to extend the Red Flag days for the WHEELER based on receiving no bids to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #4-2019. 

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is undergoing repairs in Mobile, AL after suffering a mechanical failure on Saturday, February 2, 2019.  The hopper dredge is expected to resume dredging in SWP on Thursday, February 7th.  The GLENN EDWARDS commenced dredging on December 18, 2018 and is working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #6-2018.  The MVN was able to modify the GLENN EDWARDS contract and the hopper dredge will now continue dredging until March 1, 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 7 days or so and then beginning a very slow fall.

The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1600 hours today was 14.47 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.08 feet.  

The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1600 hours today was 36.71 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.13 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 2519

LMR Dredging Update 2519

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. 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 MVN received no bids to the advertisement of Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #4-2019 on Friday, February 1, 2019. At that time the MVN began the Emergency Callout Procedure by issuing the Yellow Flag Request and also announced the advertisement of Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #5-2019 that was completed earlier today. There was one bid received to today’s advertisement (#5-2019). Today’s bid was significantly over the Government Estimate and could not be awarded, but MVN is working to resolve this discrepancy in order to be able to secure an additional hopper dredge.

TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT CUBITS GAP:

The Crescent River Ports Pilots Association (CRPPA) continue with their maximum draft recommendation to 45 feet (freshwater) and one-way traffic at the Venice Jump. The 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 and Federal 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.

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

McFARLAND: The Corps’ hopper dredge McFARLAND commenced dredging at the Venice Jump today at approximately Mile 10.5 AHP working under Red Flag Emergency Call Out #2- 2019. The Red Flag was approved after receiving no bids to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #3-2019.

NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging at Cubits Gap (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 at the Head of Passes. 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 Red Flag assignment will keep the WHEELER dredging in SWP until approximately February 12, 2019. MVN is also working to extend the Red Flag days for the WHEELER based on receiving no bids to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #4-2019.

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is undergoing repairs in Mobile, AL after suffering a mechanical failure on Saturday, February 2, 2019. The hopper dredge is expected to resume dredging in SWP on Thursday, February 7th. The GLENN EDWARDS commenced dredging on December 18, 2018 and is working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #6-2018. The MVN was able to modify the GLENN EDWARDS contract and the hopper dredge will now continue dredging until March 1, 2019.

The river crested on the Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) at 15.66 feet at 1200 hours on January 23, 2019 and the latest forecasts continue to predict 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 approximately Mile 6 BHP and is working to complete the present 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 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 cutterhead CAPTAIN FRANK (Weeks Marine) is expected to join the R.S. WEEKS on the Ship Channel recovery over the next few weeks. The R.S. WEEKS will return to the HDDA contract when the Ship Channel contract is completed.

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.