The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues working to restore the deficient reaches of the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) in the area of Southwest Pass with three industry hopper dredges, a government hopper dredge and one industry cutterhead dredge. The industry hopper dredges GLENN EDWARDS, NEWPORT and STUYVESANT, the government hopper dredge WHEELER and the cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK are all working assignments in the area of Southwest Pass (SWP). The MVN is dredging to maintain the central 250 feet of the channel (authorized width is 500 feet) on the Crossings Above New Orleans with two dustpan dredges.
The MVN will have two large hopper dredges under contract to start dredging in early 2021. The GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) will start dredging by mid-January 2021 under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #3-2020. The Dutra Group was the apparent low bidder to last week’s bid opening for Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #6-2020 and their large hopper dredge STUYVESANT will start work under this contract by mid-February 2021.
SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP) TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS:
The Bar and Federal Pilots continue to recommend a maximum draft recommendation of 44 feet (freshwater) as implemented on May 14, 2020. The Crescent Pilots increased their maximum draft recommendation to 46 feet freshwater on May 30, 2020 apparently due to improving conditions in the area of Cubits Gap. The controlling draft recommendation for all vessels transiting Southwest Pass is 44 feet freshwater.
INDUSTRY HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging on assignment from Mile 1.0 BHP to Mile 3.5 BHP. The NEWPORT began dredging under the first Gulf Coast Regional Hopper Dredge Contract 2020 on February 1, 2020. The NEWPORT is now expected to continue dredging on the MRSC until the arrival of the hopper dredge BAYPORT on June 17th. The NEWPORT will then begin dredging on the Gulfport Ship Channel (Mississippi) to complete work under the Regional Contract.
STUYVESANT: The hopper dredge STUYVESANT (Dutra Group) commenced dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #5-2020 at approximately 02000 hours this morning. The STUYVESANT is dredging an assignment from Mile 10.0 BHP to Mile 12.25 BHP. The hopper dredge is expected to work in SWP for approximately 30 days to complete this contract.
GLENN EDWARDS: The hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) continues dredging on assignment at the Jetty End of SWP (Mile 18.2 BHP to Mile 19.5 BHP). The GLENN EDWARDS began dredging in Southwest Pass on March 20, 2020 under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #13-2019. This contract has been extended and the hopper dredge is now expected to complete work on approximately July 20, 2020.
BAYPORT: The hopper dredge BAYPORT (Manson Construction) is expected to begin dredging in SWP on June 17, 2020. The BAYPORT will work in SWP for approximately 30 days to complete hours on Calcasieu River Hopper Dredge Rental Contract 19C0076.
GOVERNMENT HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
WHEELER: The USACE’s hopper dredge WHEELER is dredging at the Head of Passes (Mile 2.5 Above Head of Passes [AHP] to Mile 1.0 Below Head of Passes [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 on June 6, 2020. The MVN has tentatively scheduled Readiness Exercise #1-2020 from June 23 to July 6 (2020).
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
CAPTAIN FRANK: Weeks Marine’s cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK is dredging at Mile 16.62 BHP on assignment on the eastern side of the channel from Mile 15.8 BHP to Mile 18.0 BHP. 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 will 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 continues dredging the central 250 feet of the channel at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP). The WALLACE McGEORGE commenced dredging on the Crossings at 1730 hours on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
JADWIN: The government dustpan dredge completed dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Alhambra Crossing (Mile 190.5 AHP) this morning. The White Castle Anchorage (Mile 191.1 AHP to Mile 190.4 AHP) is now available for normal vessel usage. The JADWIN will move upriver and begin dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Bayou Goula Crossing (Mile 198.2 AHP) later today. The JADWIN began dredging on the Crossings on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) AT THE NEW ORLEANS HARBOR:
The MVN held a bid opening for New Orleans Harbor Cutterhead Rental Contract #4-2019 on May 21, 2020 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 1100 hours today was 13.73 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.15 feet.
NOAA’s National Weather Service’s Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gauge indicates a slight rise cresting at 14.2 feet before resuming a very slow fall to 12.1 feet on June 30, 2020.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1100 hours today was 36.12 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.15 feet.