The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) confirms that the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) deepening to 50 feet began a few minutes ago. Weeks Marine was awarded the first dredging contract for the deepening project and their dustpan dredge CAPTAIN FRANK has started the first assignment. The USACE continues working to restore or maintain the Ship Channel in areas on the Crossings Above New Orleans. The dustpan dredges, JADWIN and WALLACE McGEORGE and the hopper dredge BAYPORT continue dredging on the Crossings Above New Orleans. The USACE continues dredging to restore or maintain at least the central 250 feet of the channel on the Crossings as river stages continue to slowly fall (authorized width is 500 feet).
The USACE intends to deepen the Ship Channel with a total of three dredges, specifically two cutterhead dredges and one hopper dredge.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) WORKING MISSISSIPPI RIVER SHIP CHANNEL DEEPENING:
CAPTAIN FRANK: The industry dustpan dredge CAPTAIN FRANK officially commenced the historic project to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet at 2105 hours tonight. The industry cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK is working on assignment at Mile 5 Above Head of Passes (AHP). The present assignment is from Mile 5 AHP to Mile 1 Below Head of Passes on the western side of the channel. The USACE awarded Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #1-2020 to Weeks Marine on Thursday, September 3, 2020. This is the first contract awarded for the Ship Channel deepening project.
ROBERT M. WHITE: The bid opening for Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract was held on August 27, 2020 and Manson Construction was awarded the contract on September 8, 2020. Manson is expected to start work under this contract with their cutterhead dredge ROBERT M. WHITE in late September (2020).
DUSTPAN DREDGE(S) ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
WALLACE McGEORGE: The industry dustpan dredge continues dredging the central 250 feet of the channel at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224.0 AHP). The WALLACE McGEORGE commenced dredging on the Crossings on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
JADWIN: The government dustpan dredge moved upriver from assignment at Belmont Crossing (Mile 154 AHP) to address shoaling at Philadelphia Crossing (Mile 183 AHP). The dustpan is expected to commence dredging full channel dimensions at Philadelphia Crossing tonight. The JADWIN began dredging on the Crossings on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
HURLEY: The government dustpan dredge HURLEY continues dredging the shallow-draft channel at Tunica Bluff (Mile 294 AHP). Traffic is moving in both directions with coordination from the U.S. Coast Guard and navigation industry. The HURLEY is also expected to dredge the shallow-draft area at Wilkerson Point Mile 235 AHP before returning to the Crossings in late September. The HURLEY commenced dredging on the Crossings on June 29, 2020 departed for Victoria Bend on July 18, 2020 and resumed dredging on the Crossings on August 3, 2020. The dustpan dredge then departed for Winchester on August 23, 2020.
INDUSTRY HOPPER DREDGE(S) ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
BAYPORT: The industry hopper dredge BAYPORT (Manson Construction) commenced dredging full channel dimensions at the Arlington Lights (Mile 226) at 1330 hours yesterday. The hopper dredge is now expected to complete this contract on September 13th. The BAYPORT commenced dredging on the Crossings on July 9, 2020.
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 2000 hours today was 4.57 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.04 feet.
NOAA’s National Weather Service’s Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gauge issued today forecasts stages to remain steady over the next week before beginning a slow fall to 3.7 feet on October 9, 2020. The forecast includes the impact of precipitation over the next 48-hours.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 2000 hours today was 14.66 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.14 feet.
NOAA’s National Weather Service’s Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Baton Rouge Gauge issued today predicts stages to remain steady a few days before beginning a slow fall to 11.1 feet on October 9, 2020.