The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues active channel maintenance dredging efforts on the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) on the Crossings Above New Orleans and in Southwest Pass. The dustpan dredges are now working to restore full channel dimensions on the Crossings. The Associated Branch Pilots (Bar Pilots) reduced their maximum draft recommendation to 49 feet (freshwater) on May 22, 2023 (official notice attached). The river stages are predicted to continue to steadily fall with low water conditions expected to continue across the Mississippi River Basin.
DUSTPAN DREDGE(S) WORKING ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
HURLEY: The USACE dustpan dredge continues dredging full channel dimensions on the Ship Channel at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP). The HURLEY began dredging on the Crossings on May 22, 2023.
WALLACE McGEORGE: The industry dustpan dredge WALLACE McGEORGE (Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel) continues dredging full channel dimensions at Bayou Goula Crossing (Mile 198 AHP). The dustpan completed the assignment at Alhambra Crossing yesterday morning and moved upriver to Bayou Goula. The White Castle Anchorage (Mile 191.1 AHP to Mile 190.4 AHP) was reopened for normal vessel usage, it was off-limits from June 12 to June 18 to promote navigational safety during active dredging at Alhambra Crossing. The dustpan dredge began dredging on the Crossings on May 24, 2023.
JADWIN: The USACE dustpan dredge JADWIN was released temporarily to attend to dredging assignments upriver for the USACE Memphis District.
HOPPER DREDGE(S) WORKING IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
PADRE ISLAND: The industry hopper dredge PADRE ISLAND (Great Lakes Dredge & Dock) continues dredging on assignment at the Head of Passes (Mile 2.2 AHP to Mile 1.0 BHP). The PADRE ISLAND began working on the Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #2-2022 on May 30 (2023). Great Lakes has worked on this contract with two hopper dredges, the DODGE and PADRE ISLAND, this contract is the second of two early award Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 23) contracts.
DODGE ISLAND: The industry hopper dredge DODGE ISLAND (Great Lakes Dredge & Dock) has departed the Mississippi River to undergo minor repairs, the hopper dredge is expected to return later this week. The dredge began work under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #2-2022 on March 28 (2023).
WHEELER: The USACE hopper dredge WHEELER is working on the jetty end of SWP from Mile 17 BHP to Mile 20 BHP. The WHEELER is working under Readiness Exercise #5-2023 (final) as scheduled from June 13 to June 26 (2023).
GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) continues to undergo repairs but is expected to return to SWP in early July. The GLENN EDWARDS has work remaining under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2022 a Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 23) early award hopper dredge rental contract.
MAXIMUM DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS PER PILOT ASSOCIATION: (UPDATED BAR PILOT DRAFT REDUCTION May 22, 2023)
The updated maximum draft recommendation for each Pilot Association as adjusted due to the Mississippi River Ship Channel Deepening are listed below:
Associated Branch Pilots of the Port of New Orleans (Bar Pilots): The Bar Pilots reduced their maximum draft recommendation to 49 feet (freshwater) effective on May 22, 2023. The Bar Pilots had increased their maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) on March 16, 2022, prior to this reduction.
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 Association (NOBRA): The NOBRA raised their maximum draft to 50 feet (freshwater) from Mile 175 AHP to Mile 88 AHP on March 7, 2023. NOBRA has previously limited the maximum draft recommendation to 49 feet from Mile 175 AHP to Mile 106 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 recommendations to the following on July 21, 2022:
- 49 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
- 40 feet Mile 232.4 AHP to 233.8 AHP
The controlling maximum freshwater draft for the MRSC from Mile 175 AHP (Smoke Bend) to the Southwest Pass Sea Buoy is 49 feet (freshwater) as adjusted on May 22, 2023.
The Carrollton Gage (New Orleans) reading at 0900 hours today was 3.37 feet a 24-hour change of + 0.08 feet.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gage issued today forecasts stages will continue to erratically fall to 2.2 feet on July 17 (2023).
The Baton Rouge Gage reading at 1000 hours was 9.40 feet the 24-hour change of – 0.10 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 fall to 8.1 feet on July 17 (2023).