The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) completed the Phase 1 dredging for the historic project to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) to 50 feet on May 7, 2021. The Phase 1 section of the Ship Channel extends from Venice at Mile 13 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 22 Below Head of Passes (BHP). The USACE uncovered some depth anomalies with two utility pipelines and one cable that cross under the Ship Channel in the area of Venice from Mile 12 AHP to Mile 11 AHP. Due to the information uncovered the USACE is working to verify the depth over these structures in this area before the Ship Channel is officially opened up to a deepened draft (50 Feet). The USACE has actively worked to define the extent of this problem by identifying and contacting the listed utility owners and is awaiting updated surveys and operational information for each potential obstruction. The USACE is working to maintain or restore at least half of the authorized channel width or the central 250 feet of the channel on the Crossings. (Federally authorized channel dimensions remain 45 feet deep by 500 feet wide.)
DUSTPAN DREDGES WORKING ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
HURLEY: The government dustpan dredge HURLEY commenced dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP) at 1330 hours yesterday (Sunday, June 27, 2021). The HURLEY commenced dredging on the Crossings on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.
WALLACE McGEORGE: The industry dustpan dredge WALLACE McGEORGE continues dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Sardine Point (Mile 219 AHP). The dustpan dredge began dredging on the Crossings on May 20, 2021.
JADWIN: The government dustpan dredge continues dredging the central 250 feet at Belmont Crossing (Mile 154 AHP). The JADWIN started dredging on the Crossings on June 24, 2021.
INDUSTRY HOPPER DREDGES WORKING IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
NEWPORT: The industry hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging in the area of the Head of Passes from Mile 2.0 AHP to Mile 1.0 BHP under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #7-2020. This contract was awarded to the Manson Construction in Fiscal Year 2020 to perform channel maintenance in Fiscal Year 2021. The NEWPORT began work under this contract on April 3, 2021.
GLENN EDWARDS: The GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) continues to undergo repairs in dry dock. The hopper dredge is expected to return to SWP in August (2021) to resume work under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #3-2020. This contract was awarded in Fiscal Year 2020 to perform channel maintenance in Fiscal Year 2021. The GLENN EDWARDS began work under this contract on May 7, 2021.
GOVERNMENT HOPPER DREDGE WORKING IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
WHEELER: The government hopper dredge WHEELER completed dredging under Readiness Exercise #2-2021 in Southwest Pass early this morning. The WHEELER dredged under Readiness Exercise #2 2021 from June 16, 2021 to June 28, 2021 and is scheduled to conduct Readiness Exercise #3-2021 from July 13 to July 21 (2021).
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE HOPPER DREDGE DISPOSAL AREA (HDDA):
ILLINOIS: The cutterhead dredge ILLINOIS (Great Lakes Dredge and Dock) has removed and beneficially used approximately 8.0 million cubic yards (mcy) of material from the HDDA under Hopper Dredge Disposal Area Cutterhead Rental Contract #1-2019. The contract includes the removal of 10 mcy in the base with options to add an additional 4 mcy. The project is expected to be completed by early 2022. The material is beneficially being used in the West Bay Receiving Area through a submerged dredge pipeline that will have to be removed up completion of the project. The pipeline retrieval will require at least one complete closure on the Ship Channel in the immediate vicinity of the submerged pipeline (Mile 2.0 AHP to Mile 0 – the Head of Passes).
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1100 hours today was 8.15 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.48 feet. The highest crest recorded on the Carrollton Gauge in 2021 to date is 15.44 feet at 1700 hours on April 16, 2021. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gauge issued today forecasts stages will continue remain steady for the next week and then rise to 9.1 feet on July 11 and stay steady before beginning a slow fall to 6.0 feet on July 26 (2021).
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1100 hours today was 23.98 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.91 feet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Baton Rouge Gauge issued today predicts stages will remain continue to fall for the next five days or so and then begin a slow rise to 26.3 feet on July 10 and then begin slow fall to 18.5 feet on July 26 (2021).
The graph below is reproduced from NOAA’s National Weather Service website and represents an experimental product to account for the complexity of accurately predicting long-range precipitation. This forecast projects stage levels based on expected precipitation for 2 days (top) and 16 days (bottom) and was developed within the North American Ensemble Forecast System (NAEFS) computer model and highlights Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF). Along with the forecasts, a shaded area is also provided to indicate uncertainty for the forecast each day in the future. These plots are experimental and not an official forecast product.