The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues maintenance dredging efforts 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 Crossings, 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 maximum draft recommendation on the Ship Channel was recently increased to 50 feet (freshwater) from 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 is expected to be mechanically deepened in Phases 3-5 (estimated).
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 commenced dredging full channel dimensions at Bayou Goula Crossing (Mile 198 AHP) at 1445 hours on August 30, 2022. The WALLACE McGEORGE commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 10, 2022.
JADWIN: The USACE dustpan dredge JADWIN continues to work on the shallow-draft channel north of Baton Rouge. The USACE will continue to evaluate the need for the dustpan to return to the Crossings. 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) has departed work on the Ship Channel for the time being. The hopper dredge is expected to return to complete work under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #2-2021 in early 2023.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) WORKING IN SOUTHWEST PASS:
ROBERT M. WHITE The industry cutterhead dredge ROBERT M. WHITE (Manson Construction) commenced dredging on the western side of SWP from Mile 12.0 BHP to Mile 14.0 BHP. The cutterhead will be completing work under Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #2-2020, expected to complete in mid-October.
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 3.77 feet with a 24-hour change of -0.16 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 slow fall to 2.7 feet on September 26 (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 1300 hours was 11.81 feet with a 24-hour change of -0.14 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 continue a slow fall to 8.0 feet on September 29 (2022).