The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues working on the historic project to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) to 50 feet. The USACE completed dredging to restore full channel dimensions (45 feet by 500 feet) on the Crossings Above New Orleans for Fiscal Year 2020 on January 9, 2021.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER SHIP CHANNEL DEEPENING PHASE 1:
The three cutterhead dredges and the hopper dredge listed below continue dredging on their contractual deepening assignments for Phase 1 of the Ship Channel deepening. The USACE intends to deepen the Ship Channel from Venice to the Gulf of Mexico (Phase 1) with a total of three dredge contracts, specifically the two cutterhead dredge contracts detailed below and one for the hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction). The GLENN EDWARDS will complete the final portions of the Ship Channel deepening project and is also under contract for Fiscal Year 2021 channel maintenance and will be moved between the two contracts by the MVN dependent upon channel conditions.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGES WORKING ON DEEPENING IN SOUTHWEST PASS:
E.W. ELLEFSEN: The industry cutterhead dredge E.W. ELLEFSEN (Weeks Marine) is presently
working at Mile 6.0 Below Head of Passes (BHP) dredging on assignment from Mile 1.0 BHP to Mile 9.0 BHP on the western side of the Ship Channel.
CAPTAIN FRANK: The industry cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK (Weeks Marine) officially commenced the historic project to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet on September 11, 2020. The CAPTAIN FRANK is dredging at Mile 14.09 BHP working on assignment from Mile 13 BHP to Mile 18 BHP on the eastern side of the Ship Channel. The CAPTAIN FRANK previously completed the reach from Mile 15 BHP to Mile 18 BHP.
Weeks Marine continues responding to Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #1-2020 with their two cutterhead dredges listed above.
ROBERT M. WHITE: The ROBERT M. WHITE (Manson Construction) is dredging at Mile 17.6 BHP on an extended assignment from Mile 9.0 BHP to Mile 18.0 BHP on the western side of the channel. The cutterhead’s next assignment will be from Mile 9 BHP to Mile 13 BHP on the eastern side of the channel. The cutterhead is working under Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #2-2020 that was awarded to Manson Construction on September 8, 2020.
HOPPER DREDGES WORKING ON DEEPENING IN SOUTHWEST PASS:
GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) arrived in Southwest Pass on January 14, 2021 and began dredging on the deepening contract from Mile 18.0 BHP to Mile 20.0 BHP on the jetty end of Southwest Pass. The GLENN EDWARDS is undergoing repairs but expected to return to dredging on the Ship Channel Deepening project later this week.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE HOPPER DREDGE DISPOSAL AREA (HDDA):
ILLINOIS: Great Lakes Dredge and Dock was awarded Hopper Dredge Disposal Area Cutterhead Rental Contract #1-2019. Great Lakes is responding this contract with their cutterhead dredge ILLINOIS. The installation of a submerged dredge pipeline to place the removed dredge material in the West Bay Receiving Area was completed on January 19, 2021. The pipeline crosses the Ship Channel between Mile 1.4 AHP to Mile 1.2 AHP from the eastern side of the channel into the West Bay. The contract includes the removal of 10 million cubic yards (mcy) in the base with options to add an additional 4 mcy.
The ILLINOIS is expected to start actively dredging in the HDDA tomorrow, Tuesday, January 26, 2021. The project is expected to be completed in late 2021. The submerged pipeline will have to be removed upon completion and the retrieval will require at least one complete channel closure in the immediate vicinity (Mile 2.0 AHP to Mile 0 – the Head of Passes).
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1000 hours today was 5.98 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.58 feet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gauge issued today predicts a steady fall over the next week followed by a rise to 6.7 feet on February 12, 2021 and then falling to 5.1 feet on February 22, 2021.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1000 hours today was 19.27 feet with a 24-hour change of – 1.36 feet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Baton Rouge Gauge issued today predicts a steady fall over the next week followed by a rise to 22.7 feet on February 10, 2021 and then falling to 17.2 feet on February 22, 2021.