From: Mark Nelson
Subject: Max Recommended Draft
Date: May 5, 2021 at 1:23:09 PM CDT

Captain Ron,
Per the Safe Navigation Committee of Louisiana state-commissioned river port pilots: 
  • Based on the current conditions, the maximum recommended freshwater draft is 46’ effective immediately.  
Mark Nelson
Crescent River Port Pilots’ Association
================================= I have confirmed this change applies to both inbound and outbound vessels.
Also, the “Reasoning” behind the reduced draft…
  • The project to deepen the LMR navigation channel to 50 feet is ongoing.
  • However, the presence of utility pipelines is representing a delay in the dredging.
  • Previously buried well below the 45’ channel depth; the new 50’ depth is now ‘closer’ to the pipelines.
  • The USACE is unable to dredge mainly in the area between Miles 11-12 AHOP due to unknown clearance over the pipelines, resulting in shoaling in the area.
  • The USACE believes this shoaling is related to sand waves that travel downriver.

  • Based on the channel conditions along this pipeline corridor, and
  • As several vessels have reportedly touched bottom (shoaling) recently, 
  • The Crescent Pilots have implemented a reduced draft recommendation of 46 feet freshwater. 
The USACE and an established Dredge and Pipeline Subcommittee are working on solutions.  
No time frame has been provided.