Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 62619
The Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) continues responding to active shoaling in Southwest Pass (SWP) deposited by long-term high river stages (historic flood event and precipitation levels). There are only three hopper dredges presently working in the area of SWP (2 industry hoppers and 1 government hopper) and two dustpan dredges working on the Crossings. The MVN received one bid to the advertisement of Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #11-2019 but the bid could not be awarded. The MVN will advertise Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #2-2019 tomorrow (Thursday, June 27th) in an effort to secure a cutterhead dredge to respond to the severe shoaling in SWP.
UPDATED: TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
- The Bar Pilots maximum draft recommendation was reduced an additional two feet to 42 feet (freshwater) today at 1000 hours on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. The offical notice is attached.
- The Crescent River Port Pilots maximum draft recommendation of 44 feet (freshwater) remains as established on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.
- The Federal Pilots also reduced their maximum draft recommendation to 42 feet (freshwater) today.
The controlling maximum draft recommendation for the Mississippi River Ship Channel in the deficient area of Southwest Pass is now 42 feet freshwater for all vessels. The previous maximum draft recommendation of 44 feet (freshwater) had been in effect since established on April 17, 2019, the channel is federally authorized to a depth of 45 feet.
INDUSTRY HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
STUYVESANT: The industry hopper dredge STUYVESANT (Dutra Group) resumed dredging operations at the Venice Jump (Mile 10.5 Above Head of Passes [AHP] to Mile 10 AHP) this morning. The STUYVESANT began dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #10-2019 on June 14, 2019.
NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging from Mile 5.0 AHP to Mile 2.5 AHP. The NEWPORT is now dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #8-2019. The NEWPORT began dredging in SWP on November 28, 2018.
GOVERNMENT HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
WHEELER: MVN’s hopper dredge WHEELER continues dredging from Mile 1.0 AHP to Mile 1.5 Below Head of Passes under Red Flag Emergency Callout #5-2019. The Red Flag was approved for 45-days and dredging commenced June 3, 2019
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE HOPPER DREDGE DISPOSAL AREA (HDDA):
R.S. WEEKS: The industry cutterhead dredge R.S. WEEKS (Weeks Marine) continues dredging in the Hopper Dredge Disposal Area and is beneficially using all material in the Pass A’Loutre Wildlife Management Area (PALWMA). The cutterhead dredged the Ship Channel (SWP) from December 15, 2018 to April 24, 2019 and began dredging in the HDDA on April 26, 2019. Approximately 4.5 million cubic yards of material have now been beneficially placed in the PALWMA from the HDDA and has restored approximately 400 acres of sensitive wildlife habitat.
DUSTPAN DREDGE(S) ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
HURLEY: The Corps dustpan dredge HURLEY continues dredging operations on the central 250 feet of channel at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP). The government dustpan dredge commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 4, 2019
WALLCE McGEORGE: The industry dustpan dredge WALLCE McGEORGE continues dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Medora Crossing (Mile 212 AHP). The industry hopper dredge commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 9, 2019.
JADWIN: The Corps dustpan dredge JADWIN is expected to begin dredging at Belmont Crossing (Mile 154 AHP) by this Friday (June 28, 2019).
There are 168 open bays at the Bonnet Carré Spillway, no official word on gate closures has been released.
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1700 hours was 16.08 feet, with a 24-hour change of + 0.02 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 report for complete details related to dredge assignments.
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 draft in fresh water greater than Forty-Two feet (42 feet).
This draft recommendation, which may be increased or decreased at any time as conditions warrant, becomes effective at 1000 hours CST on June 26, 2019.
Nothing in the recommendations should be construed as limiting a pilot in the exercise of their judgment.