The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues working to restore the deficient reaches of the Mississippi River Ship Channel with two industry hopper dredges, a government hopper dredge and one industry cutterhead dredge. The industry hopper dredges GLENN EDWARDS and NEWPORT, the government hopper dredge WHEELER and the cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK are all working in the area of Southwest Pass.
The MVN reports that Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #5-2020 has now been awarded to the Dutra Group. Dutra’s hopper dredge STUYVESANT is under contract to arrive in Southwest Pass by May 20, 2020. The MVN has also confirmed that Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #3-2020 has been awarded to Manson Construction. Manson’s hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS is expected to start dredging under this contract in early January 2021. Contract #3-2020 was adjusted to attract bids from the larger hopper dredges in an attempt to allow dredging to start earlier than usual with a large hopper to begin channel maintenance. The adjustment of Contract #3-2020 was made possible by increased Operations and Maintenance Funding to MVN.
SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP) TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS:
The Bar Pilots, Crescent Pilots and Federal Pilots have all increased their maximum draft recommendation to 43 feet (freshwater). The Bar and Crescent Pilots increased their maximum draft recommendations on April 29th and the Federal Pilots did so on the morning of April 30th. The controlling draft recommendation for SWP is 43 feet (freshwater).
HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging on assignment in the area of Cubits Gap (Mile 3.5 Above Head of Passes [AHP] to Mile 2.0 AHP). The NEWPORT is dredging under the Gulf Coast Regional Hopper Dredge Contract 2020. The NEWPORT began dredging under the first Gulf Coast Regional Hopper Dredge Contract 2020 on February 1, 2020.
GLENN EDWARDS: The GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is dredging on assignment from Mile 4.5 Below Head of Passes (BHP) to Mile 5.0 BHP. The GLENN EDWARDS began dredging in Southwest Pass on March 20, 2020 under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #13-2019.
STUYVESANT: The hopper dredge STUYVESANT (Dutra Group) is expected to arrive in SWP on May 20, 2020 under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract No. #5-2020. The hopper’s first assignment will be determined by the channel conditions at the time of arrival.
GOVERNMENT HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
WHEELER: The USACE’s hopper dredge WHEELER continues dredging on assignment at the Jetty End of SWP (Mile 18.2 BHP to Mile 19.5 BHP). The WHEELER’s usage is approved under Red Flag Emergency Callout #1-2020 for 60 days of utilization in response to not receiving any bids to Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #2-2020 (February 6, 2020). The WHEELER began dredging in Southwest Pass on March 28, 2020.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
CAPTAIN FRANK: Weeks Marine’s cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK is dredging at Mile 6.18 BHP and working on assignment from Mile 4.9 BHP to Mile 6.3 BHP on the western side of the channel. The cutterhead commenced dredging in Southwest Pass on January 24, 2020 under Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #3-2019.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE HOPPER DREDGE DISPOSAL AREA (HDDA):
CAPTAIN FRANK: The cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK (Weeks Marine) will resume dredging in the HDDA upon completion of their assignment in Southwest Pass. The project is to beneficially place material removed from the HDDA in the Pass A’ Loutre Wildlife Management Area (PALWMA). The cutterhead dredges have previously removed and beneficially utilized approximately 13.10 million cubic yards (mcy) of material from the HDDA and restored roughly 1,048 acres. Supplemental funding allowed the MVN to increase the amount of material to be removed from the HDDA to a total of 15.075 mcy. When this project is completed later this year, approximately 1,200 acres will have been restored in the PALWMA.
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1500 hours today was 15.66 feet, with a 24-hour change of – 0.17 feet.
Long range forecasts now predict the Carrollton Gauge will continue a very slow fall from 15.66 feet today to 11.4 feet on June 5th.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1500 hours today was 39.70 feet, with a 24-hour change of – 0.40 feet.