The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues active channel maintenance dredging operations on the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) on the Crossings Above New Orleans and in Southwest Pass. Please see the second page for complete details on maximum freshwater draft recommendations (50 feet from Mile 175 to the Southwest Pass Sea Buoy). The hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS completed dredging at Philadelphia Crossing (Mile 183 Above Head of Passes [AHP]) and moved downriver to resume dredging operations in Southwest Pass late on Friday, August 25, 2023.
DUSTPAN DREDGE(S) WORKING ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
WALLACE McGEORGE: The industry dustpan dredge WALLACE McGEORGE (Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel) continues dredging full channel dimensions at Medora Crossing (Mile 212 AHP). The dustpan dredge began dredging on the Crossings on May 24, 2023.
HOPPER DREDGE(S) WORKING IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
GLENN EDWARDS: The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) is dredging on assignment in SWP from Mile 6.6 Below Head of Passes (BHP) to Mile 9.4 BHP. The GLENN EDWARDS is working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2022 a Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 23) early award hopper dredge rental contract.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) WORKING IN THE HOPPER DREDGE DISPOSAL AREA (HDDA):
CAPTAIN FRANK: The USACE recently awarded Head of Passes Hopper Dredge Disposal Area Contract #2-2022 to Weeks Marine to remove sediment from the Hopper Dredge Disposal Area (HDDA). Weeks will utilize the cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK to remove 6 million cubic yards of sediment from the HDDA to be beneficially placed in the West Bay Receiving Area. The submerged dredge pipeline installation dates have been delayed but the expected schedule will require two days of one-way traffic followed by two days non-consecutive days of daytime closures with 12-hour full channel closures utilized to install the submerged dredge pipeline across the Ship Channel (east to west).
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) WORKING IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
ALASKA: The USACE recently awarded Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Contract #1-2023 to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock to preform channel maintenance dredging in Southwest Pass. Great Lakes will utilize their cutterhead dredge ALASKA that is expected to begin dredging on assignment from Mile 12 BHP to Mile 15 BHP on the western side of the Ship Channel by tomorrow. The cutterhead will beneficially utilize the removed sediment material for marsh creation in the vicinity of Southwest Pass.
MAXIMUM DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS PER PILOT ASSOCIATION:
(UPDATED BAR PILOT DRAFT INCREASE July 6, 2023)
The updated maximum draft recommendation for each Pilot Association as adjusted due to the Mississippi River Ship Channel Deepening and a temporary reduction to 49 feet by the Bar Pilots are detailed below:
Associated Branch Pilots of the Port of New Orleans (Bar Pilots): The Bar Pilots returned their maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) on July 6, 2023. The Bar Pilots originally increased their maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) on March 16, 2022, prior to the temporary reduction from May 22 to July 6 (2023).
Crescent River Port Pilots Association (CRPPA): The CPPRA raised their maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) in coordination with the Bar Pilots on July 7, 2023. The CRPPA originally increased their maximum draft to 50 feet (freshwater) on July 20.
New Orleans Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association (NOBRA): The NOBRA returned their maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet (freshwater) from Mile 175 AHP to Mile 88 AHP on July 7, 2023. The maximum draft recommendation from Mile 175 to 180 remains 47 feet and from Mile 180 to Mile 233.8 it remains 45 feet.
Associated Federal Pilots and Docking Masters of Louisiana (Federal Pilots): The Federal Pilots increased their maximum draft recommendations to the following to match the draft adjustment to 50 feet by the other Pilot Associations.
- 50 feet from Sea Buoy to Mile 175 AHP
- 45 feet Mile 175 AHP to 232.4 AHP
- 40 feet Mile 232.4 AHP to 233.8 AHP
The controlling maximum freshwater draft for the MRSC from Mile 175 AHP (Smoke Bend) to the Southwest Pass Sea Buoy is 50 feet (freshwater) as adjusted on July 7, 2023.
Mississippi River Stages and Forecast Updates:
The Carrollton Gage (New Orleans) reading at 1400 hours today was 3.03 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.19 feet.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gage issued today forecasts stages will continue a slow fall to 2.1 feet by September 16 and will then begin a slow rise to 2.9 feet on September 23 and remain steady a few days before beginning a slow fall to 2.5 feet on October 9 (2023).
The Baton Rouge Gage reading at 1500 hours was 5.86 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.41 feet.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Baton Rouge Gauge issued today forecasts stages will continue an erratic slow fall to 3.8 feet on October 9 (2023).