The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has temporarily ceased channel maintenance dredging in Southwest Pass which is in good condition. The USACE is focusing channel maintenance efforts to restore the Crossings Above New Orleans (Fiscal Year 2022) as river stages continue to fall. The USACE previously completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the historic project to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel Deepening (MRSC) to 50 Feet. The areas of the Ship Channel that required dredging to provide the deeper draft channel were mechanically deepened up to Smoke Bend at Mile 175 Above Head of Passes (AHP). The USACE is dredging full channel dimensions on the Crossing, depths are location specific but authorized channel widths are 500 feet.
DUSTPAN DREDGES WORKING ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
HURLEY: The USACE dustpan dredge HURLEY completed dredging on assignment at Sardine Point (Mile 219 AHP) over the weekend and commenced dredging full channel dimensions upriver at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP). The HURLEY commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 28, 2022.
WALLACE McGEORGE: The industry dustpan dredge WALLACE McGEORGE continues dredging full channel dimensions at Bayou Goula (Mile 198 AHP). The WALLACE McGEORGE commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 10, 2022.
JADWIN: The USACE dustpan dredge JADWIN continues dredging full channel dimensions at Belmont Crossing (Mile 154 AHP). The JADWIN commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 26, 2022.
HOPPER DREDGE(S) WORKING ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) ceased dredging operations on July 1, 2022 and is undergoing repairs in New Orleans. The hopper dredge is expected to return to dredging at Medora Crossing (Mile 212 AHP) later this week. The GLENN EDWARDS is working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #2-2021, this contract is expected to be completed in early September (2022).
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE WORKING IN THE NEW ORLEANS HARBOR:
The industry cutterhead dredge MIKE HOOKS commenced dredging on assignment in the New Orleans Harbor from the Orange Street Wharf to the Poydras Street Wharf on June 18, 2022.
MAXIMUM DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS PER PILOT ASSOCIATION:
Based on the channel deepening project and the continued efforts to provide surveys over pipelines in two key areas of the Ship Channel (Venice Corridor Mile 12 AHP to Mile 11 AHP and at Mile 158.2 AHP) the documentation of the present maximum draft recommendation for each Pilot Association are listed below:
Associated Branch Pilots of the Port of New Orleans (Bar Pilots): The Bar Pilots increased their maximum freshwater draft to 50 feet freshwater at 1200 hours on March 16, 2022 specific to their route.
Crescent River Port Pilots Association (CRPPA): The CPPRA raised their maximum draft recommendation to 49 feet (freshwater) on Friday, February 11, 2022. The CRPPA continue to monitor channel conditions and the latest surveys to consider adjustments to the maximum draft recommendation for their route
New Orleans Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots (NOBRA): The NOBRA raised their maximum draft to 48 feet (freshwater) from Mile 90.5 AHP to Mile 175 AHP on February 12, 2022. The maximum draft recommendation from Mile 175 to 180 remains 47 feet and from Mile 180 to Mile 233.8 it remains 45 feet.
Associated Federal Pilots and Docking Masters of Louisiana (Federal Pilots): The Federal Pilots increased their maximum draft recommendation on March 5, 2022, to the following:
49 feet from Sea Buoy to Mile 104.7 AHP;
48 feet from Mile 104.7 AHP to 175 AHP;
45 feet Mile 175 AHP to 232.4 AHP; and
40 feet Mile 232.4 AHP to 233.8 AHP.
The controlling maximum freshwater draft for the MRSC up to the Port of New Orleans is 49 feet, the maximum draft decreases to 48 feet from the Port of New Orleans to Mile 175.0 AHP (Smoke Bend) until additional adjustments are made.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE UPDATES:
The Carrollton Gage (New Orleans) reading at 0700 hours today was 4.23 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.22 feet. 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 a steady fall to 2.5 feet on August 2 (2022). The highest crest on the Carrollton Gage in 2022 to date was 13.82 feet at 2100 hours on March 22, 2022.
The Baton Rouge Gage reading at 0800 hours was 14.43 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.52 feet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Baton Rouge Gauge issued today forecasts stages to steadily fall to 7.9 feet on August 2 (2022).