The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) completed the Phase 1 dredging for the historic project to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) to 50 feet on May 7, 2021. The Phase 1 section of the Ship Channel extends from Venice at Mile 13 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 22 Below Head of Passes (BHP). However, the USACE has uncovered some depth anomalies with pipelines crossing under the Ship Channel in the area of Venice, mainly from Mile 12 AHP and Mile 11 AHP. Due to the information uncovered the USACE continues working to verify the depth over the pipelines in this area before the Ship Channel is officially opened up to a deepened draft (50 Feet). The USACE is actively working to define the extent of this problem by identifying and contacting the listed pipeline owners and requesting updated survey information.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER SHIP CHANNEL DEEPENING PHASE 1:
The Phase 1 areas of the Ship Channel have all been deepened to 50 feet through the use of the four dredges listed below. The USACE utilized three contracts to deepen the Ship Channel from Venice to the Gulf of Mexico (Phase 1). The USACE expects to complete the deepening project in four progressive upriver phases to the upper end of the MRSC at Mile 233.8 AHP (Baton Rouge). The details on the dredge contracts worked under Phase 1 of the historic river deepening project are detailed below:
Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #1-2020: was awarded to Weeks Marine on August 20, 2020. The cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK dredged under this contract from September 11, 2020 to March 3, 2021 and the E.W. ELLEFSEN dredged on this deepening contract from November 18, 2020 and completed the last assignment on March 19, 2021.
Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #2-2020: was awarded to Manson Construction on August 27, 2020. The cutterhead dredge ROBERT M. WHITE worked on this contract from October 23, 2020 until completion on March 18, 2021.
Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #9-2020: was awarded to Manson Construction on September 21, 2020. The GLENN EDWARDS worked under this deepening contract from January 14, 2021 to May 7, 2021.
DUSTPAN DREDGES WORKING ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
WALLACE McGEORGE: The industry dustpan dredge WALLACE McGEORGE is expected to start dredging at Medora Crossing (Mile 212 AHP) on Thursday, May 20, 2021.
HURLEY: The government dustpan dredge HURLEY is expected to start dredging at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP) next week.
INDUSTRY HOPPER DREDGES WORKING IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
GLENN EDWARDS: The GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is working on channel maintenance in the area of Cubits Gap (Mile 3.5 AHP to Mile 2.5 AHP). The hopper dredge is now working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #3-2020 that was awarded in Fiscal Year 2020 to perform channel maintenance in Fiscal Year 2021. The GLENN EDWARDS began work under this contract on May 7, 2021.
NEWPORT: The industry hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is dredging on assignment from Mile 1.0 BHP to Mile 3.65 BHP. The NEWPORT is working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #7-2020 that was awarded to the Manson Construction in Fiscal Year 2020 to perform channel maintenance in Fiscal Year 2021. The NEWPORT began work under this contract on April 3, 2021.
STUYVEASNT: The industry hopper dredge STUYVESANT (Dutra Group) is working on assignment from Mile 15 HP to Mile 18 AHP. The STUYVEASNT is working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #6-2020 that was awarded to the Dutra Group in Fiscal Year 2020 to perform channel maintenance in Fiscal Year 2021. The STUYVESANT began work under this contract on March 24, 2021.
GOVERNMENT HOPPER DREDGES WORKING IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
WHEELER: The USACE’s hopper dredge WHEELER completed work under Readiness Exercise #1-2021 early this morning (May 17, 2021). The WHEELER is scheduled to conduct Readiness Exercise #2-2021 from June 15 to June 28, 2021.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE HOPPER DREDGE DISPOSAL AREA (HDDA):
ILLINOIS: The cutterhead dredge ILLINOIS (Great Lakes Dredge and Dock) has removed and beneficially used approximately 5.5 million cubic yards (mcy) of material from the HDDA under Hopper Dredge Disposal Area Cutterhead Rental Contract #1-2019. The contract includes the removal of 10 mcy in the base with options to add an additional 4 mcy. The project is expected to be completed by early 2022. The material is beneficially being used in the West Bay Receiving Area through a submerged dredge pipeline that will have to be removed up completion of the project. The pipeline retrieval will require at least one complete closure on the Ship Channel in the immediate vicinity of the submerged pipeline (Mile 2.0 AHP to Mile 0 – the Head of Passes).
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1700 hours today was 12.21 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.18 feet. The latest crest recorded on the Carrollton Gauge was 15.44 feet at 1700 hours on April 16, 2021. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gauge issued today forecasts stages to remain steady for a few days before beginning a slow fall to 8.4 feet on June 14 (2021).
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1700 hours today was 32.45 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.14 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 stages to continue a slow fall 22.6 feet on June 14 (2021).