The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded a contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock (GLDD) to dredge material contained in the Hopper Dredge Disposal Area (HDDA) at the Head of Passes. The cutterhead dredge ILLINOIS will be utilized on this HDDA dredging project to remove 10 to 14 million cubic yards (mcy) of material. GLDD will dispose of the removed dredged material in the West Bay Receiving Area by pumping it through a submerged dredge pipeline installed across the Ship Channel from east to west. The submerged dredge pipeline will be installed across the Mississippi River Ship Channel between Mile 1.4 Above Head of Passes (AHP) and Mile 1.2 AHP during the channel closures detailed below.
SCHEDULED CHANNEL CLOSURES:
- FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2021:
0600 hours to 1200 hours: all vessels are restricted from transiting between Mile 2.0 Above Head of Passes and Mile 0 (Head of Passes), the dredge will dig trench on the west side of the channel.
1200 hours to 1800 hours: all vessels are limited to one-way traffic along the west side of the Ship Channel between Mile 2.0 AHP and Mile 0 (Head of Passes), the dredge will dig trench on the east side of the channel.
- SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2021 no transit restrictions are expected (no closure schedule, normal operations).
- SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2021:
0600 hours to 1800 hours: all vessels are restricted from transiting between Mile 2.0 AHP and Mile 0 (Head of Passes), the submerged pipeline will be inserted across the Ship Channel and into the excavated trench.
Vessels intending to arrive or depart the Mississippi River on the day of a scheduled closure must arrive at Pilottown (outbound) no later than 0400 hours or Southwest Pass Entrance Light (inbound) no later than 0330 hours on the morning of the scheduled closures.
During the first closure 6-hour closure the ILLINOIS will dredge a trench across the Mississippi River Ship Channel between Mile 1.4 Above Head of Passes (AHP) and Mile 1.2 AHP on the west side of the channel. That complete closure will immediately be followed by a 6-hour period of one-way transits with vessels transiting through on along the west side of the channel while the dredge excavates the trench along the eastern side of the channel. The second 12-hour closure will be utilized to place the submerged dredge pipeline across (and under) the Ship Channel and into the trench.
A comprehensive document of the scheduled closures with specific details on the dredging project as prepared by the Big River Coalition is here.