Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 21119

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 two government hopper dredges (WHEELER and McFARLAND) working under Red Flag Emergency Call Outs.  The MVN received one bid to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #5-2019 on February 5, 2019, the original bid was not awardable but was successfully converted through the Request For Proposal process and issued to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock. 

UPDATE: TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT SOUTHWEST PASS:

The Bar Pilots have reestablished their maximum draft recommendation at 44 feet (freshwater) in response to severe shoaling at the Head of Passes.  There was a precautionary period of time when a maximum draft reduction of 40 feet was temporarily implemented.  That was done in response to the impact of severe fog that prevented the hopper dredges and Corps surveys vessels to safely work in the area of Southwest Pass. 

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. 

The Crescent River Ports Pilots Association (CRPPA) maximum draft recommendation is also set at 44 feet (freshwater) matching the controlling draft for transit of Southwest Pass.  

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

McFARLAND: The Corps’ hopper dredge McFARLAND is dredging under Red Flag Emergency Call Out #2-2019.  The Red Flag was approved 45-days (maximum) after  receiving no bids to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #3-2019.

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is dredging at Cubits Gap (Mile 3.5 AHP to Mile 2.0 AHP).  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.

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). A second Red Flag Emergency Call Out for 30 days was approved that will keep the WHEELER working in SWP until mid-March.    

NEWPORT:  The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging on assignment on the jetty end of SWP (from approximately Mile 17 BHP to 18.5 BHP).  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

The river crested on the Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) at 15.66 feet at 1200 hours on January 23, 2019 and the new long range forecasts predict a future crest of 15.9 feet in early March.  

The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading this morning was 13.9 feet with a mean surface velocity of 4.4 miles per hour. 

The Baton Rouge Gauge reading this morning was 35.5 feet with a mean surface velocity of 4.7 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 21119

LMR Dredging Update 21119

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 two government hopper dredges (WHEELER and McFARLAND) working under Red Flag Emergency Call Outs. The MVN received one bid to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #5-2019 on February 5, 2019, the original bid was not awardable but was converted through the Request For Proposal process and issued to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock.

UPDATE: TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT SOUTHWEST PASS:

The Bar Pilots have reestablished their maximum draft recommendation at 44 feet (freshwater) in response to severe shoaling at the Head of Passes. There was a precautionary period of time when a maximum draft reduction of 40 feet was temporarily implemented. That was done in response to the impact of severe fog that prevented the hopper dredges and Corps surveys vessels to safely work in the area of Southwest Pass.

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.

The Crescent River Ports Pilots Association (CRPPA) maximum draft recommendation is also set at 44 feet (freshwater) matching the controlling draft for transit of Southwest Pass.

MVN HOPPER DREDGE CONTRACTS HISTORY FY 2019:

The MVN has advertised 6 hopper dredge bids eventually leading to 3 industry hopper dredge contracts and 3 Emergency Red Flag Call Outs:

  • Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #6-2018 awarded to Manson Construction (NEWPORT to G EDWARDS).
  • Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2019 awarded to Manson Construction (G EDWARDS to NEWPORT).
  • Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #2-2019 no bids, WHEELER on Red Flag Emergency Call Out #1-2019.
  • Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #3-2019 no bids, McFARLAND Red Flag Emergency Call Out #2-2019.
  • Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #4-2019 no bids, WHEELER additional 30 days of Red Flag Call Out.
  • Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #5-2019 one awardable bid, converted to Request for Proposal andawarded to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (TERRAPIN ISLAND).

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

McFARLAND: The Corps’ hopper dredge McFARLAND is dredging under Red Flag Emergency Call Out #2- 2019. The Red Flag was approved 45-days (maximum) after receiving no bids to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #3-2019.

GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is dredging at Cubits Gap (Mile 3.5 AHP to Mile 2.0 AHP). 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.

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). A second Red Flag Emergency Call Out for 30 days was approved that will keep the WHEELER working in SWP until mid- March.

NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging on assignment on the jetty end of SWP (from approximately Mile 17 BHP to 18.5 BHP). 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.

The river crested on the Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) at 15.66 feet at 1200 hours on January 23, 2019 and the new long range forecasts predict a future crest of 15.9 feet in 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 6.25 BHP. The cutterhead is expected to complete the present assignment from Mile 5.0 BHP to Mile 6.75 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.