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 three utility pipelines and one utility cable that cross under the Ship Channel in the Venice area between Mile 12.0 AHP to Mile 11.0 AHP. The USACE continues working to verify the depth over these obstructions in this Venice Corridor before the Ship Channel is officially opened up to a deepened draft (50 Feet). The USACE has reached out to the owners of the four obstructions and is attempting to gain integrity on the depth of the identified obstructions. 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 on the Crossings 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 Medora Crossing (Mile 212 AHP). The dustpan dredge began dredging on the Crossings on May 20, 2021.
JADWIN: The government dustpan dredge was released from dredging at Alhambra Crossing (Mile 190.5 AHP) on Saturday, July 17, 2021. The dredge departed the Crossings for scheduled repairs in dry dock at Conrad Shipyard (Amelia, LA). The dustpan is expected to resume dredging on the Crossings in early August. The JADWIN started dredging on the Crossings on June 24, 2021.
GOVERNMENT HOPPER DREDGES WORKING IN THE AREA OF SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
WHEELER: The government hopper dredge WHEELER continues dredging on assignment at the Head of Passes (Mile 2.0 AHP to Mile 1.0 BHP) under Readiness Exercise #3-2021 as scheduled from July 13 to July 21 (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 9.0 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 0800 hours today was 7.78 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.31 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 a slow fall the next couple of days before beginning to rise to 8.7 feet (July 31) and will then resume a steady fall to 5.7 feet on August 16 (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 0900 hours today was 23.65 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.56 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 a steady rise to 27.5 feet on July 29 (2021) and then begin a slow fall to 18.5 feet on August 16 (2021).