The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) District’s Lock and Waterway Status 60-Day Forecast as issued today (Thursday, February 4, 2021) is here.
The updated or revised status reports are highlighted in bold and lists conditions on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC), Port Allen, Old River, Algiers and Bayou Beouf Locks and the East and West Calumet Floodgates.
INNER HARBOR NAVIGATION CANAL:
The USACE continues with construction that includes period of hot work (welding) and is operating with the conditions listed below:
“Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Lock mariners are advised that there is on-going construction, which includes hot work, at the forebay and tailbay of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Lock. Vessels shall adhere to the following:
- Use extreme caution when entering and exiting the lock especially in the vicinity of the construction and keeping a safe distance from the construction.
- Navigate at a dead-slow speed with no wake whether workers are present or not.
- Use bumpers while locking.”
PORT ALLEN LOCK:
The damaged sections of the floating guidewall at the Port Allen Lock that was partially blocking the channel has been removed. The transit restrictions listed below remain in effect due to the damaged floating guidewall:
|“At Port Allen Lock, the damaged section of the floating Guidewall is marked with 4 white flashing lights at night. Until permanent repairs are made, the following restrictions will apply until further notice:
* The restriction on tow length has been lifted.
* All tows with more than one barge are required to use an assist vessel.
* Single barge tows will be permitted to lock westbound without an assist vessel.
* Tows greater than 650’ long are required to use an assist vessel on the head of the tow once they exit the lock into the river in order to steer clear of the damaged area at the end of the guidewall.”
OLD RIVER LOCK:
The USACE continues working to repair the lowering carriage with the following details related to extended closures to navigation:
“Currently in effect and continuing until 9 March 2021, Old River Lock will periodically be closed to navigation for up to 4 days at a time to perform operational load tests on the newly installed Emergency Bulkhead Lowering Carriage Machinery.
Navigation will be allowed to pass between load test cycles. The maximum estimated time for a load test cycle will be 4 days. Old River Lock plans to clear the que between load test cycles before starting another load test cycle.
Old River Lock personnel will do all that is possible to minimize the impacts to the navigation industry. The load tests must be performed to assure that the New Emergency Bulkhead Lowering Carriage Machinery is fully operational in the event of an actual operational emergency.
Mariners are urged to transit at their slowest safe speed to minimize wake and proceed with caution when the lock is periodically opened to clear the que.
The following notice is still in affect after the closures are complete:
Tows entering Old River Lock are urged to use extreme caution while approaching and entering the lock chamber. Until approximately 30 April 2021, the following restrictions/instructions are required for passage:
- Tows are to enter the Lock at DEAD SLOW speed.
- All tows are restricted to no longer than 1100’ in length.
- All tows will line up along the floating guide wall before proceeding.
The Algiers Lock continues to operate with special restrictions in place due the unstable condition of the dolphin structure adjacent to the upstream river end guide wall:
“Algiers Lock is currently open to navigation with normal locking hours of operation.
Continuing until further notice, mariners are advised to avoid the dolphin at the end of the canal end long guide wall; the dolphin is unstable and a hazard to mariners.
Tow restrictions are still in place in both directions to a maximum width and length of 54 feet W by 700 feet L or 70 feet W by 600 feet L.
Mariners are advised to continue to avoid the end of the long, river end, guide wall, which is also unstable and a hazard to mariners.”
BAYOU BOEUF LOCK:
The replacement of the Bayou Boeuf Lock’s Chamber Guide Wall continues with intermittent daytime closures scheduled to be completed in May 30, 2021 with full details reproduced below:
“Bayou Boeuf Lock is closed to navigation from 7 am until 7 pm (Daylight Hours), Mondays thru Thursdays until approximately December 2021 to construct the new south side chamber guide wall.”
EAST and WEST CALUMET FLOODGATES:
The East and West Calumet Floodgates remain closed due to heavy siltation in the channel:
“Continuing until further notice, East and West Calumet Floodgate will remain closed to navigation due to heavy siltation in the channel making it unsafe for navigation.”