The Captain of the Port New Orleans is issuing Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Safety Measures to protect persons and vessels from the potential safety hazards associated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ raising of the emergency Saltwater Barrier Sill at Lower Mississippi River Mile Marker (MM) 63.8 Above Head of Passes (AHP). The new sill is being constructed to an elevation of minus 30’ with a 620’ wide, minus 52’ cut along the Left Descending Bank (LDB) allowing for deep draft vessels to transit. The following channel restrictions will be in effect beginning on September 23 at 1200:

  • All vessels are limited to one way traffic from MM 63.5 to 64.0 AHP confined to a channel 620’ wide. The channel is marked on its corners by four white buoys with fixed white all-around lights.
  • All vessels transiting this zone shall check-in with and take direction from the Contact Pilot onboard the Cutterhead Dredge J.S. CHATRY on VHF Channels 67 or 71 at the following points:
    • Southbound Vessels – Wills Point, MM 68 AHP
    • Northbound Vessels – Poverty Point, MM 59 AHP
  • All vessels shall transit at their slowest safe speed between MM 63.5 to 65.5 AHP.
  • Alliance Anchorage is closed to all traffic.
  • The Contact Pilot is the Coast Guard’s Designated Representative.
  • These measures will remain in effect until rescinded/adjusted at a future date.

The channel buoy locations are as follows:

  1. 29 42 6.8585 N    089 58 33.4567 W    MM 63.7 AHP
  2. 29 42 4.0832 N    089 58 39.7273 W       MM 63.7 AHP
  3. 29 42 9.5576 N    089 58 42.9063 W       MM 63.8 AHP
  4. 29 42 12.333 N    089 58 36.6357 W     MM 63.8 AHP

The Project Managers on site are Mike Hales, (337) 852-4066, and Avery Castille, (337) 342-5717.

The U.S. Coast Guard will provide an update following the completion of construction to address long-term traffic control procedures.

Updates will be disseminated via VTS email distribution, and/or Safety Broadcast Notice to Mariners. For further information, contact:

Sector New Orleans Command Center (24 hour): (504) 365-2545
Vessel Traffic Service (24 hour): (504) 365-2514, VHF FM Ch. 05A, 12, 67
Sector New Orleans Waterways Management: (504) 365-2280 or