The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, has awarded a $4.4 million contract for dredging of the Mississippi River to Weeks Marine, Inc., of Covington, Louisiana. The work consists of furnishing, delivering and operating one cutterhead, hydraulic pipeline dredge.
The Vicksburg District encompasses 68,000 square miles across three states and seven major river basins. One of the primary missions of the District is supporting navigation across its area of responsibility. This includes the shallow draft harbors and ports of Greenville, Vicksburg, Rosedale, Yellow Bend, Lake Providence, Madison Parish, and Claiborne County. Each of these ports is vital to the economy of the area where it is located and to the nation as a whole.
Without the vital work performed by the District and its partners to keep these ports and navigational channels open, goods and materials would cost more to ship and would vastly increase the number of semi trucks on the road that would also lead to increase in wear and tear on transportation routes.
Weeks Marine Inc. was founded in 1919 as a dredging and stevedoring company and is one of the largest marine and tunneling contractors in the United States and Canada, and they have a long history of working on navigation and maintenance projects with the Corps.
Per a study by the Iowa Department of Transportation a single barge on the Mississippi River can move 22,500 tons of material versus a single large semi truck that can only move 26 tons or a rail car that can move only 112 tons.
In addition, the use of the Mississippi River to ship goods is much more economical and environmentally friendly.
Press Release, September 23, 2014