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). The USACE uncovered some depth anomalies with two utility pipelines and one cable that cross under the Ship Channel in the area of Venice from Mile 12 AHP to Mile 11 AHP. Due to the information uncovered the USACE is working to verify the depth over these structures in this area before the Ship Channel is officially opened up to a deepened draft (50 Feet). The USACE has actively worked to define the extent of this problem by identifying and contacting the listed utility owners and is awaiting updated surveys and operational information for each potential obstruction. The USACE is working to maintain or restore at least half of the authorized channel width or the central 250 feet of the channel on the Crossings. (Federally authorized channel dimensions remain 45 feet deep by 500 feet wide.)
DUSTPAN DREDGES WORKING ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
HURLEY: The government dustpan dredge HURLEY continues dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP). The HURLEY commenced dredging on the Crossings on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.
WALLACE McGEORGE: The industry dustpan dredge WALLACE McGEORGE continues dredging the central 250 feet of channel at Sardine Point (Mile 219 AHP). The dustpan dredge began dredging on the Crossings on May 20, 2021.
JADWIN: The government dustpan dredge continues dredging the central 250 feet at Philadelphia Crossing (Mile 183 AHP). The JADWIN’s next assignment will be a quick one at Alhambra Crossing (Mile 190.5 AHP) with no restrictions expected for the White Castle Anchorage. The dustpan dredge is scheduled to head to a shipyard for repairs but is expected to resume dredging on the Crossings in late July. The JADWIN started dredging on the Crossings on June 24, 2021.
INDUSTRY HOPPER DREDGES WORKING IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
NEWPORT: The industry hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) was recently released by the USACE to do work in another USACE District. The NEWPORT is expected to return dredging in SWP in mid-August to complete work under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #7-2020. This contract 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.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE HOPPER DREDGE DISPOSAL AREA (HDDA):
ILLINOIS: The cutterhead dredge ILLINOIS (Great Lakes Dredge and Dock) has removed and beneficially utilized approximately 8.5 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 and the USACE recently awarded options to add an additional 2 mcy to this assignment. The project is expected to be completed by late September (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 1600 hours today was 8.10 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.46 feet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gauge issued today forecasts stages will continue to rise the next five days cresting at 9.0 feet (July 15) and then begin a slow fall to 5.1 feet on August 5 (2021). The highest crest recorded on the Carrollton Gauge in 2021 to date is 15.44 feet at 1700 hours on April 16, 2021.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1600 hours today was 24.76 feet with a 24-hour change of + 0.84 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 will continue to rise the next four days cresting at 27.4 feet (July 13) and then begin a slow fall to 17.9 feet on August 5 (2021).