The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues dredging on the Crossings and in Southwest Pass with no channel dimension restrictions. 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.
Today, in a Notice to the navigation industry the Crescent River Port Pilot Association (CRPPA) announced that their Safe Navigation Committee increased the maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) up to the Port of New Orleans, effective immediately. The maximum draft for the both the Bar Pilots and Crescent Pilots extends the newly deepened Ship Channel to 50 feet for the first 125 river miles.
DUSTPAN DREDGES WORKING ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
HURLEY: The USACE dustpan dredge HURLEY continues dredging full channel dimensions on assignment 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 Granada Crossing (Mile 205 AHP). The WALLACE McGEORGE commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 10, 2022.
JADWIN: The USACE dustpan dredge JADWIN is working on assignment on the shallow draft channel north of Baton Rouge (White River) until further notice. The USACE expects the JADWIN to return to the Crossings if needed in early August (2022). 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) continues dredging on assignment at Belmont Crossing (Mile 154 AHP). 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 continues dredging on assignment in the New Orleans Harbor and is dredging multiple locations within the New Orleans Harbor. The MIKE HOOKS began dredging on assignment on June 18, 2022.
MAXIMUM DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS PER PILOT ASSOCIATION:
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 50 feet (freshwater) at 1209 hours today, Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
New Orleans Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots (NOBRA): The NOBRA raised their maximum draft to 49 feet (freshwater) from Mile 88 AHP to Mile 175 AHP on July 13, 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:
50 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 to the upriver limit of the Port of New Orleans is now set at 50 feet. For the first time ever, in accordance with Congressional Authorization. The maximum draft decreases to 49 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 1300 hours today was 2.98 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.23 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 1.9 feet on August 17 (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 1400 hours was 10.51 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.18 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 6.0 feet on August 17 (2022).