Mississippi River Dredging Underway (USA)

Due to the extreme and severe low water conditions, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Vicksburg District (District) and its partners are working diligently to maintain continued access to ports and navigational channels throughout the District’s area of responsibility.

Currently, the Vicksburg gage on the Mississippi River reads 1.5′ with the Greenville gage on the Mississippi River reading 10.4′.

One of the numerous missions of the District is supporting navigation on the Mississippi River and the shallow draft harbors and ports of Yellow Bend, Arkansas; Lake Providence and Madison Parish, Louisiana; and Rosedale, Greenville, and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Each of these ports is vital to the distribution of commodities and to the economy of the area and the nation as a whole.

The District has contracted dredging companies to assist with the task of dredging ports in the area. The Dredge Butcher, operated by the Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel Company, is expected to complete initial operations at Rosedale, Mississippi today and relocate to Yellow Bend, Arkansas on or about 6 August. The Butcher will then relocate to the Lake Providence harbor on or about 11 August 2012.

There are also dredging operations in progress on the Ouachita/Black and the Red River systems in Arkansas and Louisiana. The Dredge America, operated by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company is on the Ouachita/Black river system and the Dredge Integrity, operated by Inland Dredging is on the Red river system.

The District continues to respond to adverse low water conditions on the Mississippi River and ports by utilizing additional federal funding and adjusting the dredging schedule. If river levels continue to fall, the District may be forced to focus on maintaining access to the larger ports in the area. The maintenance of these ports is vital to ensure the transportation and delivery of commodities throughout America and abroad.

The historic flood of 2011displaced more than average sediment deposits in the river channel and ports. The current extreme low water conditions and decreased river flow drastically affect normal sediment movement and make normal dredging extremely difficult.

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Dredging Today Staff, August 6, 2012

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