LAMA’s report on the Corps’ Mississippi River Maintenance Forum meeting held this morning, Wednesday, September 4, 2019 and the corresponding agenda are attached.
RE: CORPS’ MISSISSIPPI RIVER MAINTENANCE FORUM MEETING NOTES
The Corps’ Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) holds monthly meetings to discuss channel conditions and related issues directly with the maritime industry. These meetings are usually scheduled for 0900 hours on the first Wednesday of the month. LAMA encourages our members to attend these meetings, which are open to the public (with advanced notice of attendance provided to MVN). The agenda for this meeting as provided by the MVN is attached.
Maintenance Forum Notes September 4, 2019
2) Southeast Waterways Update:
Tiger Pass: The MVN will advertise a bid opening for a cutterhead dredge to restore channel dimensions on Tiger Pass on September 23, 2019. The MVN previously received $9.5 million from the Corps Fiscal Year 2019 (FY 19) Work Plan. Channel surveys of Tiger Pass identified that approximately 2.7 million cubic yards (mcy) of material must be removed to restore the shallow-draft channel to authorized channel dimensions. The funding is expected to be sufficient to restore the channel to reduced dimensions of 12 feet throughout by removing approximately 1.9 mcy of sediment. The MVN expects the dredging of Tiger Pass to begin in early October.
Baptiste Collette: The Corps previously received $13.9 million in supplemental funding to perform dredging operations ($6.5 million) and rock work to fortify the jetties and channel boundaries ($7.4 million) of Baptiste Collette. The MVN also received an additional $3 million from the Corps FY 19 Work Plan. The cutterhead dredge CROSBY DREDGER (Crosby Dredging) was secured and began dredging on July 29, 2019 and is presently working near Mile 8.3 within the area of the heaviest shoaling (Mile 8.0 to Mile 9.7). The dredging is expected to be completed by early December (2019). The MVN intends to advertise a contract for the rock work in late September and for the work of the rock placement to begin by early October.
3) Mississippi River Conditions Update:
Current Stage New Orleans (Carrollton Gauge): 6.6 feet
• Projections will remain steady for a week before beginning a slow fall to 5.1 feet by October 1, 2019.
Current Stage Baton Rouge: 19.7 feet
• Projections will remain steady for a week before beginning a slow fall to 15.4 feet by October 1, 2019.
A. Crossings Between Baton Rouge and New Orleans:
The latest surveys for the Crossings Between Baton and New Orleans are included in the attached agenda. The surveys identify considerable shoaling on the Crossings and the Corps is actively dredging with two dustpan dredges: HURLEY and WALLACE McGEORGE and two industry hopper dredges: NEWPORT and STUYVESANT.
The dustpan dredge WALLACE McGEORGE continues dredging on assignment at Alhambra Crossing (Mile 190.5 AHP), the White Castle Anchorage (Mile 191.1 AHP to Mile 190.4 AHP) remains off limits for vessel usage while the cutterhead dredge is working at this location. The assignment at Alhambra should be completed by September 15, 2019.
B. New Orleans Harbor:
The industry cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK began working on assignment in the New Orleans Harbor on August 30, 2019. The cutterhead is working around cruise ships moored in the Julia Street Cruise Terminal and other assignments between the Erato Street and Poydras Street Wharves.
C. Southwest Pass (SWP):
The MVN continues working deficient areas of SWP with the cutterhead dredge C.R. McCASKILL, the industry hopper dredge NEWPORT could return to SWP as the Crossings are restored. The NEWPORT is under contract with MVN until early November (2019).
D. Head of Passes, Hopper Dredge Disposal Area (HDDA):
The R.S. WEEKS has now removed approximately 8.0 mcy of material from the HDDA and is beneficially placing this material in the Pass A’Loutre Wildlife Management Area. The ongoing scope of work for this contract requires a total of 12 mcy to be removed from the HDDA.
E. Southwest Pass Stone Foreshore Dike & Jetty Repair:
A contract was awarded to EFT Diversified, Inc. on July 16, 2018 to make repairs to the foreshore rocks that protect the deep-draft channel in Southwest Pass. The rock placement operations continue, and the contractor is working closely with the Pilot Associations to assist in maintaining navigational safety around the rock placement operations.
F. Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA):
Representatives from the CPRA gave an update on the Spanish Pass Ridge and Marsh Restoration Project. The restoration project will beneficially utilize material dredged from the Mississippi River to restore approximately 1,000 acres. The project has a ridge restoration feature designed to help fight erosion of the material and reduce the impact of storm surge. The geotechnical borings will be conducted next week in several of the potential borrow areas, there are several borrow areas in the Mississippi River near Venice including the Lower Venice Anchorage and the Pilottown Anchorage. The CPRA was encouraged to make a follow up presentation when more information on the identified borrow areas is available, possibly at the November Forum meeting.
4) Next Meeting:
The next Forum meeting is scheduled for 0900 hours on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, at the MVN District Assembly Room A.