Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 2819

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. MVN’s hopper dredge WHEELER continues working under 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. The MVN promptly 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 (February, 5th).  There was one bid received to the advertisement of #5-2019 and the Corps is working under Emergency Conditions to resolve this bid in order to secure another industry hopper dredge.  

UPDATE: TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT SOUTHWEST PASS:

The Bar Pilots are temporarily limiting vessels movements to vessels with a freshwater draft of 40 feet or less (controlling draft), this is being done until surveys of the channel can be conducted.  The severe fog has now cleared and the Corps is working to survey the channel, dredges are working and the Pilots will use today’s surveys to make informed draft recommendations.  The Bar Pilots had previously established a maximum draft recommendation of 44 feet (freshwater) in response to severe shoaling at the Head of Passes (at 1000 hours on January 31, 2019).

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

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) resumed dredging at Cubits Gap (Mile 3.5 AHP to Mile 2.5 AHP) yesterday evening after being repaired.  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 early March.

NEWPORT:  The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is also dredging on assignment at Cubits Gap with the GLENN EDWARDS.  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 working to extend the Red Flag days for the WHEELER based on receiving no bids to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #4-2019. 

McFARLAND: The Corps’ hopper dredge McFARLAND was involved in a collision last night, while at anchor in the Upper Venice Anchorage, with a vessel reported to be the L/B OLIVIA GRACE.  The damages to the hopper dredge are being surveyed and repairs may need to be conducted before the dredge can return to work 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.

The river crested on the Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) at 15.66 feet at 1200 hours on January 23, 2019 and the latest forecasts predict remaining at approximately 14 feet until early March.

The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading this morning was 14.5 feet with a mean surface velocity of 4.5 miles per hour. 

The Baton Rouge Gauge reading this morning was 36.4 feet with a mean surface velocity of 4.8 miles per hour. 

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 2819

LMR Dredging Update 2819

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. MVN’s hopper dredge WHEELER continues working under 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. The MVN promptly 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 (February, 5th). There was one bid received to the advertisement of #5-2019 and the Corps is working under Emergency Conditions to resolve this bid in order to secure another industry hopper dredge.

UPDATE: TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT SOUTHWEST PASS:

The Bar Pilots are temporarily limiting vessels movements to vessels with a freshwater draft of 40 feet or less (controlling draft), this is being done until surveys of the channel can be conducted. The severe fog has now cleared and the Corps is working to survey the channel, dredges are working and the Pilots will use today’s surveys to make informed draft recommendations. The Bar Pilots had previously established a maximum draft recommendation of 44 feet (freshwater) in response to severe shoaling at the Head of Passes (at 1000 hours on January 31, 2019).

The Bar 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.” This restriction first became effective at 1000 hours on, Monday, November 26, 2018.

TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT VENICE JUMP:

The Crescent River Ports Pilots Association (CRPPA) maximum draft recommendation remains at 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”

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

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) resumed dredging at Cubits Gap (Mile 3.5 AHP to Mile 2.5 AHP) yesterday evening after being repaired. 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 early March.

NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is also dredging on assignment at Cubits Gap with the GLENN EDWARDS. 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 working to extend the Red Flag days for the WHEELER based on receiving no bids to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #4-2019.

McFARLAND: The Corps’ hopper dredge McFARLAND was involved in a collision last night, while at anchor in the Upper Venice Anchorage, with a vessel reported to be the L/B OLIVIA GRACE. The damages to the hopper dredge are being surveyed and repairs may need to be conducted before the dredge can return to work 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.

The river crested on the Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) at 15.66 feet at 1200 hours on January 23, 2019 and the latest forecasts predict remaining at approximately 14 feet until early March.

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

R.S. WEEKS: The industry cutterhead dredge R.S. WEEKS (Weeks Marine) is presently being repaired but is expected to resume dredging this afternoon at approximately Mile 6 BHP. The cutterhead is expected to complete the present assignment from Mile 5.0 BHP to Mile 6.1 BHP on the western channel edge early next week. 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.