The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is working to restore the deficient reaches of the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) in the area of Southwest Pass with three industry hopper dredges and one industry cutterhead dredge. The hopper dredges BAYPORT, GLENN EDWARDS, NEWPORT and the cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK are working on assignments in the area of Southwest Pass. The dustpan dredges, JADWIN and WALLACE McGEORGE, are working on the Crossings Above New Orleans.
SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP) TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS:
The controlling draft for all vessels transiting Southwest Pass is 45 feet (freshwater).
The Bar Pilots increased their maximum draft recommendation to 45 feet (freshwater) on June 10, 2020 and the Federal Pilots raised their maximum draft recommendation to 45 feet (freshwater) on June 11, 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.
INDUSTRY HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
GLENN EDWARDS: The hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) continues dredging in the Venice area (Mile 13.0 Above Head of Passes [AHP] to Mile 12.0 AHP). 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) commenced dredging at the Head of Passes (Mile 1.5 AHP to Mile 0.25 Below Head of Passes [BHP]) earlier today. The BAYPORT will work in SWP for approximately 30 days to complete hours on Calcasieu River Hopper Dredge Rental Contract 19C0076.
NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is now dredging on assignment from Mile 4.0 BHP to Mile 5.5 BHP. The NEWPORT began dredging under the first Gulf Coast Regional Hopper Dredge Contract 2020 on February 1, 2020. The NEWPORT will begin dredging on the Gulfport Ship Channel (Mississippi) under the Regional Contract upon completing the assignment in SWP (on approximately June 30, 2020).
GOVERNNMENT HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
WHEELER: The USACE hopper dredge WHEELR is tentatively scheduled to resume dredging under Southwest Pass 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 continues dredging at Mile 17.79 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. The CAPTAIN FRANK will commence dredging in the New Orleans Harbor upon completion of this assignment.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE HOPPER DREDGE DISPOSAL AREA (HDDA):
Weeks Marine has utilized multiple cutterhead dredges on this project and all material removed from the HDDA has been beneficially placed in the Pass A’Loutre Wildlife Management Area (PALWMA). The cutterhead dredges have beneficially utilized approximately 13.1 million cubic yards (mcy) of material removed from the HDDA and restored roughly 1,040 acres. When this project is completed approximately 1,200 acres will have been restored in the PALWMA. A cutterhead dredge will resume work on the HDDA contract to remove the remaining 1.9 mcy of material once priority channel maintenance demands have been completed. The MVN also received supplemental funding for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) sufficient to issue another HDDA contract, the bid advertisement will be opened later this calendar year.
DUSTPAN DREDGE(S) ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
The MVN is dredging to restore or maintain the central 250 feet of the channel (authorized width is 500 feet) on the Crossings Above New Orleans with two dustpan dredges. The Crossings will be impacted by the decreasing river stages and the third dustpan is expected to start dredging by the end of the month.
WALLACE McGEORGE: The industry 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 on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
JADWIN: The dustpan dredge continues dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Belmont Crossing (Mile 154 .2 AHP). The JADWIN began dredging on the Crossings on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
HURLEY: The government dustpan dredge HURLEY is expected to commence dredging at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP) by June 27, 2020. The WALLACE McGEORGE is expected to move upriver to Baton Rouge Front (Mile 230.5 AHP) just prior to the HURLEY’s arrival.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) AT THE NEW ORLEANS HARBOR:
CAPTAIN FRANK: The MVN confirmed that Weeks Marine was awarded New Orleans Harbor Cutterhead Rental Contract #4-2019. The cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK will honor this contract and is expected to start dredging in the New Orleans Harbor early next week.
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1200 hours today was 13.99 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.24 feet.
NOAA’s National Weather Service’s Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gauge indicates a steady fall to 9.5 feet on July 16, 2020.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1300 hours today was 36.42 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.54 feet.