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 assignments in the area of Southwest Pass. The hopper dredge STUYVESANT is expected to commence dredging in SWP this weekend.
SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP) TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS:
The Bar, Crescent and Federal Pilots all increased their maximum draft recommendation to 44 feet (freshwater) at varying times on May 14, 2020. The controlling draft recommendation for the area of SWP is 44 feet freshwater and was 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 from Mile 2.0 Above Head of Passes [AHP] to the Head of Passes (Mile 0). The NEWPORT began dredging under the first Gulf Coast Regional Hopper Dredge Contract 2020 on February 1, 2020. The NEWPORT is expected to finish dredging on the MRSC on June 3rd and then move to the Gulfport Ship Channel (Mississippi) to complete work under the Regional Contract.
GLENN EDWARDS: The GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is dredging on assignment at Mile 1.8 Below Head of Passes (BHP) to Mile 3.25 BHP. The GLENN EDWARDS will depart upon the arrival of the STUYVESANT to undergo repairs that are expected to take 5 days to complete. The GLENN EDWARDS began dredging in Southwest Pass on March 20, 2020 under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #13-2019 and is expected to complete this contract in late June.
STUYVESANT: The hopper dredge STUYVESANT (Dutra Group) is now expected to arrive in SWP on Saturday, May 23, 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.
BAYPORT: The hopper dredge BAYPORT (Manson Construction) is expected to begin dredging in SWP by mid-June. The BAYPORT is expected to work in SWP for approximately 30 days to complete hours on a Calcasieu River Hopper Dredge Rental 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 in Venice undergoing minor repairs, the cutterhead is expected to resume work on assignment on the eastern side of the channel from Mile 15.8 BHP to Mile 18.0 BHP on Monday, May 25, 2020. 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:
WALLACE McGEORGE: The government dustpan dredge is expected to start dredging at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP) later this evening (Thursday, May 21, 2020).
JADWIN: The government dustpan dredge is expected to commence dredging at Alhambra Crossing (Mile 190.5 AHP) later this evening (Thursday, May 21, 2020).
The NOBRA and Federal Pilots cleared out the White Castle Anchorage (Mile 191.1 AHP to Mile 190.4 AHP) earlier this morning (Thursday, May 21, 2020) and will keep it clear of vessels while the JADWIN is working at Alhambra Crossing to promote navigational safety. The MVN estimates this first assignment at Alhambra Crossing will require three weeks of dredging and the White Castle Anchorage will remain closed until this assignment is completed.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) AT THE NEW ORLEANS HARBOR:
The MVN held a bid opening for New Orleans Harbor Cutterhead Rental Contract #4-2019 earlier today and the apparent low bidder was Weeks Marine. The MVN anticipates work on this contract will start in mid- to late-June but the start date could be adjusted due to lingering high river conditions.
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1500 hours today was 14.19 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.09 feet.
NOAA’s National Weather Service’s Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gauge indicates a very slow but steady fall to 12.1 feet on June 18, 2020.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1600 hours today was 36.88 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.28 feet.