The dredge contractors for the Hopper Dredge Disposal Area (HDDA) project, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock (GLDD) report that the dredging operations to clear the submerged dredge pipeline are ongoing and continue as planned. GLDD expects to have the channel clear to reopen for traffic at 1800 hours as scheduled but must complete the pipeline excavation first and then relay those details to the government agencies and navigation stakeholders (Pilots and industry first).
The first complete channel closure is ongoing and started after the channel was cleared at 0600 hours this morning, dredging of the pipeline began at 0745 hours today, Tuesday, September 14th. The closure is officially scheduled from 0600 hours to 1800 hours today, but reopening of the Ship Channel could take a little longer.
The Ship Channel remains closed to all vessels between Mile 2.0 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 0 (Head of Passes) during the two scheduled 12-hour closures (0600 hours to 1800 hours).
TODAY’S CHANNEL CLOSURE:
TUESDAY, SEPTMEBER 14, 2021:[*ONGOING]
0600 hours to 1800 hours: all vessels are restricted from transiting between Mile 2.0 AHP and Mile 0 (Head of Passes). During this closure the sediment over the submerged pipeline will be mechanically excavated by the cutterhead dredge ILLINOIS.
In order to remove the submerged dredge pipeline two full channel closures are needed, the first closure is needed to dredge over the top of the pipeline and the second is to remove the submerged dredge pipeline. The closures will be utilized to remove the submerged dredge pipeline from the HDDA project, the pipeline was installed across the Ship Channel in January 2021. The second closure is scheduled to be conducted on Sunday, September 19, 2021 from 0600 hours to 1800 hours. During the second closure the submerged pipeline will be refloated and removed from the excavated trench across the Ship Channel.