The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) started the revetment operations at the Saint Gabriel (Mile 200 Above Head of Passes [AHP]) on the left descending bank this morning ahead of schedule.  Scheduled working hours for revetment operations are from 0600 hours to 1900 hours, although completion is dependent upon multiple factors that could mean completing earlier or working later.

The transit restrictions in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) are listed below:

Restrictions:  Mariners are advised to transit at slowest safe speed to minimize wake whenever passing the Mat Sinking Unit (MSU). 

The following restrictions are in effect while the MSU is conducting revetment maintenance operations: 

  • All vessels (except as described below) are prohibited from entering a zone extending from 1 mile upriver to 1 mile downriver from the MSU. 
  • Northbound vessels having a draft of less than 25 feet may transit around the MSU after contacting the USACE contact pilots stationed on the M/V WILLIAM JAMES via VHF-FM Channels 67 or 82 to make passing arrangements. 
  • Towing vessels pushing small tows approximately 1-2 barges in length may be able to transit past the revetment operation during working hours if deemed safe by the USACE contact pilots.The restriction from the New Orleans Baton Rouge Pilots Associations (NOBRA) is for vessels above Mile 220 AHP having a draft of 41 feet or greater, will place on extra limitation on the deeper vessels.

 “Above LMR MM 220, vessels drafting 41’ or greater are restricted to daylight only.

Vessels must get underway 3 hours prior to the official sunset time.

Exceptions will be made for shifts from berths to/from the Middle Baton Rouge anchorage.”

Vessels with drafts deeper than 41 feet would be limited to sailing either three hours prior to official sunset or at sunrise (first light) – the transit to Saint Gabriel or Plaquemine Bend is estimated to take 2 to 3 hours (from above Mile 220).

Vessel Agents coordinating vessel movements for drafts deeper than 41 feet transiting above Mile 220 AHP during the scheduled revetment operations at both the Saint Gabriel and Plaquemine Bend locations are encouraged to communicate these movements plans with LAMA staff and the NOBRA Pilots.  Those vessels will be limited to daylight transits only and the revetment operations may have to start late on days when a vessel deeper than 41 feet was scheduled to transit through the area at first light.

The Mat Sinking Unit will fold in at night – no night time transit restrictions are expected related to the revetment operations other than those in the NOBRA restriction for vessels 41 feet or greater.   

The revetment operations at Saint Gabriel (Mile 200 AHP) on the left descending bank started this morning start (January 3, 2021) and are scheduled to be completed by January 8, 2021.  The revetment operations at Plaquemine Bend (Mile 208.5 AHP) right descending bank are scheduled from January 9 to January 14, with January 18 listed as a partial work day and full operations from January 19 to January 22.  The schedule may be adjusted based on production.

Vessel agents with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact me directly, as the point of contact for the revetment operations.