Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 7919
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 three hopper dredges presently working in the area of SWP (2 industry hoppers and 1 government hopper) and three dustpan dredges working to restore half channel width on the Crossings. Federally authorized channel dimensions on the Crossings are 500 feet wide by 45 feet deep, the Corps continues to focus on the central 250 feet of channel or half of the authorized channel width. The MVN awarded Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #2-2019 to Weeks Marine. Weeks intends to respond to this contract with the two cutterhead dredges:
C.R. McCASKILL and the CAPTAIN FRANK.
UPDATED: TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
- The Bar Pilots maximum draft recommendation was reduced an additional two feet to 42 feet (freshwater) at 1000 hours on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.
- 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) on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.
INDUSTRY HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging from Mile 5.2 Below Head of Passes (BHP) to Mile 6.4 BHP. The NEWPORT is now dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #8-2019. The NEWPORT began dredging in SWP on November 28, 2018.
STUYVESANT: The industry hopper dredge STUYVESANT (Dutra Group) is dredging on assignement from Mile 16.5 BHP to Mile 19 BHP (Jetty End). The STUYVESANT began dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #10-2019 on June 14, 2019.
GOVERNMENT HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
WHEELER: MVN’s hopper dredge WHEELER continues dredging from Mile 1.0 AHP to Mile 1.0 BHP under the extended Red Flag Emergency Callout #5-2019. The Red Flag was originally approved for 45-days with emergency dredging operations commencing on June 3, 2019. The Red Flag was then extended on June 28, 2019 until August 31, 2019 after not being able to award the one bid received to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #11-2019.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
C.R. McCASKILL: Weeks Marine’s cutterhead dredge C.R. McCASKILL is tentatively expected to start dredging at Mile 5.5 AHP on the western channel toe by July 15, 2019 under Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #2-2019. However, the Tropical System in the Gulf of Mexico may delay this advertised start date.
CAPTAIN FRANK: Weeks Marine’s cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK is expected to start dredging at Mile 1.0 BHP on the western channel toe by July 17, 2019 under Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #2-2019. However, the Tropical System in the Gulf of Mexico may delay this advertised start date.
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 commenced dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Belmont Crossing (Mile 154 AHP) on Thursday, June 27, 2019.
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1100 hours was 16.02 feet, with a 24-hour change of + 0.09 feet.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 0800 hours was 42.26 feet, with a 24-hour change of + 0.07 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.