Latest Detail from GICA/ACOE:
RESPONSE / RECOVERY OPERATIONS:
GICA will continue to coordinate with both the USCG and USACE daily and will issue additional updates on an as needed basis until the shoaling at MM 19.5 WHL has been addressed and the channel is reopened to routine traffic.
Lower Mississippi River:
The COTP in New Orleans has OPENED the Lower Mississippi River to traffic with restrictions as noted below.
See attached MSIB for all details.
Vessels operating on the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) from Mile Marker (MM) 108- 167.5 Above Head of Passes (AHP):
► Maintain slowest safe speed in the vicinity of ongoing vessel salvage operations, and
► Tow sizes shall be limited to 36 barges Southbound and 42 barges Northbound respectively, with six wide being the maximum allowed.
Gulf Intracoastal Waterway:
Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from MM 18-20 WHL remains closed due to shoaling. This is the only active closure on the GIWW at this time.
Update regarding shoaling at MM 19.5 WHL:
The USACE excavators continue to work from both the EAST and WEST side of the closure in the vicinity of the shoaling at MM 20 WHL. USACE contract cutter head arrived on scene MM 18 WHL and is currently setting up equipment to begin dredge operations tomorrow. Based on analysis of recent USACE surveys, the estimated amount of material in the channel between MM 23 and 33 WHL is more than 23,400 linear feet which equates to over 4.5 miles of material distributed over this 10-mile reach which needs to be removed to fully reopen the channel to navigation. USACE surveys of MM 23 – 33 WHL revealed intermittent shoaling but not nearly as extensive as the shoaling encountered in the vicinity of MM 20 WHL. USACE will continue to dig an initial pilot channel over the next several days to facilitate the deployment of the contract cutter head dredge on Wednesday or Thursday of this week. USACE will use the contract cutter head dredge as needed to address any areas of concern between MM 23 and 33 as well as clear the shoaling in the vicinity of MM 20 WHL. USACE reporting a total of six (6) weeks is needed to complete all dredging in the vicinity of MM 18- 20 WHL and from MM 23 – 33 WHL. GICA requested the USACE consider the potential to pass traffic on a limited basis once a viable pilot channel is completed. The USACE will assess the feasibility of being able to move traffic based on channel conditions to ensure the passing traffic will not make the situation worse or impede the cutter head dredge operations to fully clear the channel.
The USCG has issued a Safety Alert reporting several supply vessels adrift at GIWW MM 37 WHL and an adrift spud barge and semi-submerged portable tanks in the vicinity of GIWW MM 53 and 54 WHL. USCG advises no meeting or overtaking in the vicinity in these areas. See attached MSIB for details.
The HNC Bubba Dove Floodgate in Dulac is OPEN to marine traffic for vessels limited to 90 feet wide. The crews are working in the channel and we will coordinate efforts with the Coast Guard and contractors for the passage of vessels while the gate is being reinstalled. From 2pm to 6pm both today and tomorrow, the channel will be temporarily closed for marine traffic. Additional notices will be released if needed.
The Houma Navigation Canal is open for 24/7 operations, however, mariners are advised that the Terrebonne Parish Levee and Conservation District will be closing the Bubba Dove floodgate at 0700 20 Sept 2021, and it will be closed for several days for maintenance. The closure will restrict access to Houma and the GIWW from Terrebonne Bay/GOM. The CG will monitor maintenance status and give notification as early as possible when the floodgate is open again. For the most up to date information, visit http://tlcd.org/mobile , like Terrebonne Levee & Conservation District on Facebook, or follow on Twitter @TerrebonneLevee.
Mariners are advised that post-storm debris has been reported throughout all parts of the COTP Zone, such as trees and other vegetation. Mariners should remain particularly vigilant and exercise caution while transiting, as aids to navigation may be missing or not watching in their current positions. The COTP requests mariners report hazards to navigation to VTS Berwick Bay or MSU Houma Officer of the Day.
Mariners are advised of severe shoaling in Havoline Canal in the vicinity of Light 36.
Mariners remain advised of the extensive shoaling and narrow channel width in the vicinity of Stouts Pass, from Atchafalaya River mile marker (MM) 113 to 116, and restrictions listed in MSIB 013-21. All mariners must continue to check in with VTS Berwick Bay at MM 110 on the Atchafalaya River.
Mariners remain advised of the critical construction work taking place on the Bayou Chene, in the vicinity of 29° 37.336’N -91° 05.381’W, and the restrictions listed in MSIB 014.21. Berwick Bay is experiencing areas of shoaling near the channel edge shoaling the Atchafalaya River near Morgan City Tri-Bridge Complex. Please take extra caution when navigating this area.
Claiborne Ave Bridge (also known as the Judge Seeber Bridge) located at MM 6.5 EHL adjacent to the IHNC Lock in New Orleans has been repaired. However, several of the bridge tenders have been displaced due to the storm and the bridge will be operating with reduced staffing for the near future. The bridge will open on signal from 0900-1500 daily until further notice, 15 Sep 21. GICA will continue to monitor and engage as needed to facilitate commerce.
LA-DOTD reports the Bayou Dularge Bridge is operational from 0600 – 1800 daily. Vessels should contact the Houma Navigation Canal Bridge at 985-857-3661 to schedule an opening of the Bayou Dularge Bridge until further notice.
From USCG: “Houma Navigation Canal bridge is closed due to flooding from TS Nicholas – ETR unknown, they must wait for the water to recede, then let electronics dry, then test.”
GICA receiving numerous requests for information regarding the status of bridges throughout the Sector New Orleans area of responsibility. GICA has requested for several days, a consolidated list of all bridges and their operational status which can be updated daily from the USCG. USCG has directed GICA to refer to the following LA-DOTD website for bridge status information:
1. The Houma Navigation Canal is closed south of Bayou Provost.
2. Bayou LaFourche is closed north of Leeville.
5. GIWW is open from MM 20-191. One way traffic in the vicinity of MM 21-24 due to significant tree debris and lowered high lines at MM 21. One way traffic and draft of 7’ between MM 25-33 due to reported shoaling.