Earlier this month, the Army Corps’ Dredge Jadwin worked on the city front at Morgan City, Louisiana.
This dredging ensures that the waterway is clear enough to allow for navigation.
The Dredge Jadwin departed from the Vicksburg Harbor on May 3rd 2021, for its annual season of dredging along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
The season typically begins as soon as the spring water rise is over, in April or May, and ends some time in November. In the off season, dredges undergo critical repairs and maintenance.
Dustpan dredges have a dustpan-shaped appendage which lowers to a specific depth on the river bottom. The water jets agitate the sediment and the dustpan vacuums up the agitated material and pumps it through the dredge and pipeline, where it is typically placed in swift water and resuspended as it continues its journey down river.
To dredge a specific location, the Jadwin uses two 5,000 ft. cables which are crisscrossed and sunk by anchors weighing 6,000 lb. each. The cables help the Jadwin to maneuver while dredging. A dredge tender (towboat) is also used to assist in moving left and right.
There are only four dustpan dredges total in the United States, with three of those, the Jadwin, Potter, and Hurley, belonging to USACE. The fourth dredge is owned and operated by a private contractor.