The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues maintenance dredging on the Crossings Above New Orleans and in Southwest Pass. 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.
The Mississippi River Ship Channel was mechanically deepened to Mile 175 AHP in two phases by the USACE to match the Congressional authorization to deepen the Ship Channel. The Ship Channel was recently opened to the new maximum draft of 50 feet (freshwater) from just below the Huey P. Long Bridge (Mile 106 AHP) to the jetty end of Southwest Pass (Mile 20 Below Head of Passes [BHP]). The maximum draft upriver of the Huey P. Long remains 49 feet to Mile 175 AHP, the channel above Mile 175 AHP has not been mechanically deepened.
DUSTPAN DREDGES WORKING ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
HURLEY: The USACE dustpan dredge HURLEY continues dredging full channel dimensions on assignment at Baton Rouge Front (Mile 232 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 Medora Crossing (Mile 212 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 (Redmond Bar) until further notice. The USACE expects the JADWIN to return to the Crossings by mid-August (2022). The JADWIN commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 26, 2022.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE WORKING IN THE NEW ORLEANS HARBOR:
The industry cutterhead dredge MIKE HOOKS completed the dredge contract for the New Orleans Harbor from June 18 to July 29 (2022).
HOPPER DREDGE(S) WORKING IN SOUTHWEST PASS:
TERRAPIN ISLAND: The industry hopper dredge TERRAPIN ISLAND (Great Lakes Dredge & Dock) is dredging on assignment at Cubits Gap (Mile 3.5 AHP to Mile 2.0 AHP). The TERRAPIN ISLAND is working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2021.
GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) continues dredging on assignment from the Head of Passes (Mile 0.0) to Mile 4.0 BHP. The hopper dredge had been working at Belmont Crossing (Mile 154 AHP) but was repositioned to address shoaling in SWP. 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).
MAXIMUM DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS PER PILOT ASSOCIATION:
The updated 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 draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) on March 16, 2022.
Crescent River Port Pilots Association (CRPPA): The CPPRA raised their maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) on 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 July 21, 2022, to the following:
50 feet from Sea Buoy to Mile 104.7 AHP;
49 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 from Mile 106 AHP (Huey P. Long) to the Southwest Pass Sea Buoy is now set at 50 feet (freshwater). The maximum draft decreases to 49 feet from the Port of New Orleans to Mile 175 AHP (Smoke Bend) until additional adjustments are made.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE UPDATES:
The Carrollton Gage (New Orleans) reading at 1200 hours today was 3.19 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.12 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 slowly rise to 4.2 feet on August 11 and then resume a slow fall to 2.5 feet on August 29 (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 1200 hours was 9.51 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.11 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 will slowly rise to 14.4 feet on August 10 and then begin a slow fall to 8.9 feet on August 29 (2022).