The Big River Coalition confirmed the following with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Project Manager for the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lock (IHNC Lock).
The dewatering of the IHNC Lock is critically needed to complete emergency repairs to address the USACE’s stability concerns for the Lock structure. The IHNC Lock must be dewatered to properly conduct the needed emergency repairs.
In order for the IHNC Lock to be repaired and dewatered the USACE must secure emergency funding and the river stage must fall to 6.0 feet or less on the Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans). The dewatering is not expected to occur before late August (2020).
The USACE indicates that it expects to secure the required emergency funds in the near future and that the Carrollton Gauge is forecast to fall below the target stage level of 6.0 feet (or less) on July 27, 2020.
The cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK is expected to start dredging at Baptiste Collette in late July (2020) in order to ensure the alternate route for shallow-draft traffic is at or near authorized project dimensions during the IHNC Lock dewatering.
The USACE estimates the dewatering will begin in late August or early September (2020).
The U.S. Coast Guard will make sure the Aids to Navigation along the Baptiste Collette – Breton Sound Alternate Route are established and properly marked before the start of the dewatering.