The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues working to restore the deficient reaches of the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) in the area of Southwest Pass with three industry hopper dredges and one industry cutterhead dredge. The hopper dredges GLENN EDWARDS, NEWPORT and STUYVESANT and the cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK are working on assignments in the area of Southwest Pass (SWP). The government dustpan dredges, JADWIN and WALLACE McGEORGE, are working on the Crossings Above New Orleans.
SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP) TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS:
The Bar Pilots have increased their maximum draft recommendation to 45 feet (freshwater) effectively immediately Their previous draft recommendation of 44 feet was set on May 14, 2020.
The Federal Pilots report anticipating a similar increase to 45 feet but remain at 44 feet freshwater until further notice. The Federal Pilots will review the latest channel surveys provided by MVN overnight in order to review a potential increase to their maximum draft recommendation.
The Crescent Pilots increased their maximum draft recommendation to 46 feet freshwater on May 30, 2020 apparently due to improving conditions in the area of Cubits Gap.
INDUSTRY HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
GLENN EDWARDS: The hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is now dredging in the Venice area (Mile 13.0 Above Head of Passes [AHP] to Mile 12.0 AHP). The GLENN EDWARDS began dredging in Southwest Pass on March 20, 2020 under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #13-2019. This contract has been extended and the hopper dredge is now expected to complete work on approximately July 20, 2020.
NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is now dredging on assignment in the area of the Head of Passes (Mile 2.2 AHP to Mile 1.0 Below Head of Passes [BHP]). The NEWPORT began dredging under the first Gulf Coast Regional Hopper Dredge Contract 2020 on February 1, 2020. The NEWPORT is now expected to continue dredging on the MRSC until the arrival of the hopper dredge BAYPORT (expected by June 17th). The NEWPORT will then begin dredging on the Gulfport Ship Channel (Mississippi) to complete work under the Regional Contract.
STUYVESANT: The hopper dredge STUYVESANT (Dutra Group) is dredging on the Jetty End of SWP from Mile 18.0 BHP to Mile 20.0 BHP. The STUYVESANT began working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #5-2020 on July 2, 2020. The hopper dredge is expected to work in SWP for approximately 30 days to complete this contract.
BAYPORT: The hopper dredge BAYPORT (Manson Construction) is expected to begin dredging in SWP on June 17, 2020. The BAYPORT will work in SWP for approximately 30 days to complete hours on Calcasieu River Hopper Dredge Rental Contract 19C0076.
GOVERNNMENT HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
WHEELER: The MVN hopper dredge WHEELR is tentatively scheduled to return to Souhtwest Pass for Readiness Exercise #1-2020 from June 23 to July 6 (2020).
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
CAPTAIN FRANK: Weeks Marine’s cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK sought safe harbor due to the conditions related to T.S. Cristobal and resumed dredging at 1735 hours yesterday (June 9, 2020). The cutterhead is presently dredging at Mile 16.90 BHP on assignment on the eastern side of the channel from Mile 15.8 BHP to Mile 18.0 BHP. The cutterhead commenced dredging in Southwest Pass on January 24, 2020 under Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #3-2019.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE HOPPER DREDGE DISPOSAL AREA (HDDA):
Weeks Marine has utilized multiple cutterhead dredges on this project and all material removed from the HDDA has been beneficially placed in the Pass A’Loutre Wildlife Management Area (PALWMA). The cutterhead dredges have beneficially utilized approximately 13.1 million cubic yards (mcy) of material removed from the HDDA and restored roughly 1,040 acres. When this project is completed approximately 1,200 acres will have been restored in the PALWMA. A cutterhead dredge will resume work on the HDDA contract to remove the remaining 1.9 mcy of material once priority channel maintenance demands have been completed. The MVN also received supplemental funding for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) sufficient to issue another HDDA contract, the bid advertisement will be opened later this calendar year.
DUSTPAN DREDGE(S) ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
The MVN is dredging to restore or maintain the central 250 feet of the channel (authorized width is 500 feet) on the Crossings Above New Orleans with two dustpan dredges.
WALLACE McGEORGE: The dustpan dredge continues dredging the central 250 feet of the channel at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP). The WALLACE McGEORGE commenced dredging on the Crossings on Thursday, May 21, 2020
JADWIN: The dustpan dredge continues dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Bayou Goula (Mile 198.2 AHP). The JADWIN began dredging on the Crossings on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) AT THE NEW ORLEANS HARBOR:
The MVN held a bid opening for New Orleans Harbor Cutterhead Rental Contract #4-2019 on May 21, 2020 and Weeks Marine was awarded this contract. The MVN anticipates work on this contract will start in mid- to late-June, the start date could be adjusted due to lingering high river conditions.
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1300 hours today was 14.72 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.01 feet.
NOAA’s National Weather Service’s Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gauge indicates stages remaining near 14.5 feet for the next few days before resuming a steady fall to 11.6 feet on July 8, 2020.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1300 hours today was 38.15 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.26 feet.