The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is focusing channel maintenance efforts on the Crossings Above New Orleans as Southwest Pass has mostly been restored to authorized channel dimensions. The dustpan dredges: HURLEY, JADWIN and WALLACE McGEORGE and the hopper dredge BAYPORT are all working on the Crossings Above New Orleans. The dustpan dredge HURLEY has returned to the Crossings after being released on July 18, 2020 to address shoaling upriver and dredge an area of severe shoaling on the shallow-draft channel at Victoria Bend (Mile 595 Above Head of Passes [AHP]).
TRANSIT RESTRICITIONS FOR SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
The Bar Pilots reported that at least two vessels bumped bottom while transiting SWP. The Bar Pilots then issued a transit restriction that went into effect immediately on July 31, 2020 for all vessels with freshwater drafts of 46 feet or greater. Specifically, all vessels with freshwater drafts of 46 feet or greater must transit 3 hours before or after the daily high tide. The USACE is working to identify the areas of shoaling with coordinated channel surveys and to review options for a hopper dredge assignment.
TRANSIT RESTRICITIONS ON THE CROSSINGS:
The NOBRA Pilots have reported severe shoaling in the area of a recent grounding and a VTS Measure was implemented near Mile 147 AHP requiring one-way traffic and no meeting or overtaking between ocean going vessels with drafts 38 feet or greater from Mile 148 AHP to Mile 145 AHP. The Gramercy Bridge of Louisiana State Highway 3213 is at Mile 145.9 AHP and the three Grandview Anchorages are immediately above the Bridge Piers and the channel in this area will be constricted by the shoaled in reaches and the channel recovery operations of the hopper dredge BAYPORT.
The NOBRA Pilots have closed Middle Grandview Anchorage (Mile 147.2 AHP to Mile 146.8 AHP) and Lower Grandview Anchorage (Mile 146.7 AHP to Mile 146.4 AHP) in order to promote navigational safety. In order to manage with limited available anchorage spots NOBRA requests that vessels with drafts of 30 feet or greater remain below New Orleans until sailing into an upriver berth. The USACE, NOBRA and Federal Pilots are working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to dredge the deficient reaches of the channel and to promote navigational safety until the channel is restored.
DUSTPAN DREDGE(S) ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
The MVN continues dredging to restore or maintain at least the central 250 feet of the channel (authorized width is 500 feet) on the Crossings Above New Orleans as river stages continue to fall.
WALLACE McGEORGE: The industry dustpan dredge is now dredging on the shallow-draft channel at the Port Allen Lock Forebay (Mile 228.5 AHP) and is expected to return to Baton Rouge Front (Mile 231.0 AHP) later this week. The WALLACE McGEORGE commenced dredging on the Crossings on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
HURLEY: The government dustpan dredge HURLEY commenced dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP) at 0900 hours yesterday. The HURLEY commenced dredging on the Crossings on June 29, 2020 departed for Victoria Bend on July 18 and resumed dredging on the Crossings on August 3, 2020.
JADWIN: The government dustpan dredge is now dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Medora Crossing (Mile 212.0 AHP). The JADWIN began dredging on the Crossings on Thursday, May 21, 2020
INDUSTRY HOPPER DREDGE(S) ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
BAYPORT: The hopper dredge BAYPORT (Manson Construction) commended dredging on assignment from Mile 148 AHP to Mile 146 AHP at 1945 hours on Sunday, August 2, 2020. The hopper dredge is working to restore the deficient channel reaches near the Grandview Anchorages as identified above. The BAYPORT’s contract has been extended, the hopper dredge is now expected to complete this contract on approximately August 15, 2020. The BAYPORT commenced dredging on the Crossings on July 9, 2020.
GOVERNMENT HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS:
WHEELER: The government hopper dredge WHEELER is in need of repairs that will require some time in dry dock. The WHEELER was scheduled to dredge under Readiness Exercise #2-2020 from July 14 to August 3, 2020. The revised Readiness Exercise dates or plans will be shared when more details are available.
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1400 hours today was 4.90 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.25 feet.
NOAA’s National Weather Service’s Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gauge issued today indicates stages will remain steady then rise about 1.2 feet and remain steady and eventually begin a slow fall to 3.8 feet on September 1, 2020.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1500 hours today was 15.02 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.28 feet.
NOAA’s National Weather Service’s Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Baton Rouge Gauge issued today indicates stages will remain steady then rise about 1.5 feet and remain steady and eventually begin a slow fall to 11.2 feet on September 1, 2020.