The dredge contractors for the Hopper Dredge Disposal Area (HDDA) project, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock (GLDD) completed dredging at 2146 hours on September 10, 2021. GLDD representatives have confirmed that they are prepared to commence pipeline removal operations in accordance with the following conditions. The first complete channel closure will be tomorrow, Tuesday, September 14th from 0600 hours to 1800 hours – the closure may not require full-time. Traffic will be resumed with communications between GLDD and navigation stakeholders (Pilots and trade representatives) and the appropriate government agencies.
In order to remove the submerged dredge pipeline two full channel closures are needed, the first closure is needed to dredge over the top of the pipeline and the second is to remove the submerged dredge pipeline. The closures will be utilized to remove the submerged dredge pipeline from the HDDA project, the pipeline was installed across the Ship Channel in January 2021.
The Ship Channel will be closed to all vessels between Mile 2.0 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 0 (Head of Passes) during the two scheduled 12-hour closures (0600 hours to 1800 hours).
UPDATE: RESCHEDULED CHANNEL CLOSURES:
TUESDAY, SEPTMEBER 14, 2021:[*Confirmed as of now]
0600 hours to 1800 hours: all vessels are restricted from transiting between Mile 2.0 AHP and Mile 0 (Head of Passes). During this closure the sediment over the submerged pipeline will be mechanically excavated by the cutterhead dredge ILLINOIS.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2021:
0600 hours to 1800 hours: all vessels are restricted from transiting between Mile 2.0 AHP and Mile 0 (Head of Passes). During this closure the submerged pipeline will be refloated and removed from the excavated trench across the Ship Channel.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2021:
0600 hours to 1800 hours: all vessels are expected to be restricted from transiting between Mile 2.0 AHP and Mile 0 (Head of Passes). This scheduled back-up closure would only be utilized if the scheduled operations above were not successful or were delayed.
Vessels intending to arrive or depart the Mississippi River on the day of a scheduled closure must arrive at Pilottown (outbound) no later than 0400 hours or Southwest Pass Entrance Light (inbound) no later than 0330 hours on the morning of the scheduled closures.