The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues working to restore the deficient reaches of the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) 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 hopper dredge STUYVESANT will is expected to start dredging in SWP next week. The hopper dredge BAYPORT (Manson Construction) is also expected to arrive in SWP by mid-June with approximately 30 days of dredging left to complete a Hopper Dredge Rental Contract. A bid opening will be held for New Orleans Harbor Cutterhead Rental Contract #4-2019 on Thursday, May 21, 2020 to secure a cutterhead dredge to work in the New Orleans Harbor.
SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP) TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS:
The Bar, Crescent and Federal Pilots all increased their maximum draft recommendation to 44 feet (freshwater) at varying times yesterday (Thursday, May 14, 2020). The controlling draft recommendation for the area of SWP is now 44 feet freshwater increased from 43 feet that was implemented on April 29, 2020.
HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging on assignment at Cubits Gap (Mile 3.5 Above Head of Passes [AHP] to Mile 2.0 AHP. The NEWPORT began dredging under the first Gulf Coast Regional Hopper Dredge Contract 2020 on February 1, 2020. The NEWPORT is expected to complete work on the MRSC on June 3rd and then begin dredging on the Gulfport Ship Channel (Mississippi) to complete work under the Regional Contract.
GLENN EDWARDS: The GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is dredging on assignment at the Head of Passes (Mile 1.0 AHP to Mile 1.0 Below Head of Passes [BHP]). The GLENN EDWARDS began dredging in Southwest Pass on March 20, 2020 under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #13-2019. The GLENN EDWARDS is expected to complete this contract in late June.
STUYVESANT: The hopper dredge STUYVESANT (Dutra Group) is expected to arrive in SWP on May 20, 2020 under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #5-2020. The hopper dredge will work in SWP for approximately 30 days to complete this contract.
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 and is now expected to complete Red Flag #1-2020 the first week of June. The MVN has tentatively scheduled Readiness Exercise #1-2020 from June 16th to July 6th.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
CAPTAIN FRANK: Weeks Marine’s cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK is expected to start a new assignment on the eastern side of the channel from Mile 15.8 BHP to Mile 18.0 BHP later today. 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.
DUSTPAN DREDGE(S) ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
The MVN expects to commence dredging the Crossings Above New Orleans by the middle of next week. The dustpan dredge WALLACE McGEORGE is expected to start dredging at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP) and the dustpan dredge JADWIN will start at Alhambra Crossing (Mile 190.5 AHP). The NOBRA and Federal Pilots will clear the White Castle Anchorage (Mile 191.1 AHP to Mile 190.4 AHP) and keep it off limits while the JADWIN is working at Alhambra Crossing to promote navigational safety.
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1300 hours today was 15.02 feet, with a 24-hour change of – 0.03 feet.
NOAA’s National Weather Service’s Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gauge indicates a slow but steady fall to 11.2 feet on June 12, 2020.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1300 hours today was 38.55 feet, with a 24-hour change of – 0.11 feet.