The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Vicksburg District Mat Sinking Unit (MSU) has completed its scheduled work for 2014. During this season, the MSU has placed over 500 acres of articulated concrete mats on the banks of the Mississippi River.
The MSU season is an annual mission that starts in the late summer months when river stages are low and continues until work is completed or river stages become too high to continue the work. The area of work encompasses the three Corps districts of Memphis, Vicksburg and New Orleans.
The MSU is one of a kind in the world and performs one of the most important jobs in the Corps’ river stabilization program. The goal of the river stabilization efforts is to maintain a river channel with the dimensions and alignment which will be suitable for navigation.
The MSU consists of the mat sinking barge, the mat supply barge, quarter barges, bulldozers, spar barges and the motor vessels BENYAURD, WILLIAM JAMES and HARRISON. The MSU employs approximately 65 full-time employees and 255 seasonal and temporary employees who reside in several states. With the program executing approximately $40 million of work annually, many areas benefit from their employment up and down the river.