Army Corps News

16 Sep 2019

GPA to Double Capacity, Draws $5Bln Investment

Pic: Georgia Ports Authority

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has revealed plans to double capacity at Garden City Terminal to 11 million twenty-foot equivalent container units per year.In Fiscal Year 2019, port-related industries announced $5 billion in new investment and 12,000 new jobs coming to Georgia.Port-related announcements of expansions and new business accounted for nearly $5 billion in investment and 12,000 jobs across the state of Georgia in Fiscal Year 2019, a year in which the Port of Savannah…

06 Sep 2019

USCG Reopens Savannah With Restrictions, Continues Assessments

Crewmembers from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah conduct overflight assessments of the St. Simon Sound following Hurricane Dorian Sept. 5, 2019. The Coast Guard uses assets in the air and on the water to identify obstructions that would impact the safe navigation of our ports and waterways. U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Lieutenant Mark Bonner.

(Photo: USCG / Lieutenant Mark Bonner)

In the southeast United States, the Port of Savannah, Georgia is now open with a 36-foot draft restriction and the Ports of Brunswick, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina remain closed to commercial operations following Hurricane Dorian.Assessment teams are conducting surveys of channel depth, verifications of aids to navigation and inspections of port facilities.“Maintaining safe and efficient operations on our region’s waterways is a top priority,” said Captain John Reed, Sector Charleston Commander.

28 Aug 2019

Creative Approach Keeps Commerce Flowing Amidst Historic Flooding

Aerial view of the Jerry F. Costello Lock & Dam on the Kaskaskia River. CREDIT: St. Louis Freightway

Operational changes keep Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam open for 17 days longer than typical during high water events.While the record flooding in 2019 disrupted barge traffic throughout the inland waterways in the Midwest for extended periods this spring and summer, a little out-of-the-box thinking helped limit the number of days the Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam was forced to close, keeping commerce flowing on the Kaskaskia River in Southern Illinois for several additional days during the persistent high water.The Kaskaskia River is a critical transportation link for several commodities…

17 Jul 2019

St. Louis Regional Freightway: Prepare now for Lock Closures

File Image: St. Louis Regional Freightway

Lock Closures Starting on the Illinois Waterway This Summer May Result in  More Freight Flowing Through St. Louis Region.Businesses that move or handle commodities on the Illinois Waterway system are being encouraged to start making alternative plans due the scheduled closure of locks on that inland waterway system. With a two-week closure planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beginning as early as August 2019 and closures of 90 to 120 days expected in the summers of 2020 and 2023…

12 Jul 2019

Big Easy Braces for Barry Flooding; Emergency Declared

file image: AdobeStock / © mode list

New Orleans braced for severe flooding with residents told to hunker down as a growing tropical storm in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico headed for landfall late on Friday or early on Saturday as the first Atlantic hurricane of 2019.U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana late on Thursday, hours after the region's oil production was cut by half as energy companies evacuated offshore drilling facilities and a coastal refinery.Tropical Storm…

01 Jul 2019

Mat Sinking Unit in Modernization Drive

Image: Bristol Harbor Group, Inc.

Millions of dollars of goods are transported up and down the Mississippi every year. This transportation is made possible, in part, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Mat Sinking Unit and its crew, who work tirelessly each season to protect the riverbanks with concrete mats and prevent erosion.The Mat Sinking Unit was built in 1940, widened in 1960 and is being replaced over the next several years with new and improved plant. The new design will double the number of mat squares that can be placed in a season.USACE Vicksburg District (MVK)…

14 Jun 2019

Big Cash Boost at Boston Port

Photo: Stephanie Pollack

A new report from the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) shows the Port of Boston contributed $8.2 billion in economic activity in 2018, up from $4.6 billion in 2012.Smart investments and partnerships have led to growth in jobs, business revenues, and tax contributions, it said.“The finding that the Port of Boston contributed $8 billion in just one year to the regional economy underscores the important role transportation infrastructure plays in the vitality of an area,”…

13 Jun 2019

U.S. DOT Launches Port Program

Elaine L. Chao. Photo: US Department of Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $292.7 million in discretionary grant funding through the new Port Infrastructure Development Program.“This major investment in the Port Infrastructure Development Program will help strengthen, modernize, and improve our country’s maritime systems and gateway ports,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.As the Administration continues to invest in America’s infrastructure…

10 Jun 2019

Workboat Report: The U.S. Workboat ($33.8B) Market

Inland pushboat and barge. Source Kirby Corporation

The U.S. towing and tug business is 5,500 boats, more than 31,000 barges with an estimated total impact on U.S. GDP of $33.8 billion.“At a macro level, the bigger ships are causing downward pressure on the ship assist business because there are fewer ship calls given the increased capacity of these vessels. However, certain ports have seen tremendous growth, based on strategic location and infrastructure investments that have attracted these larger ships and been a net plus for these areas.”Kate Fuhrman…

16 May 2019

INSIGHTS: Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director, America's Central Port

Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director, America's Central Port

Dennis Wilmsmeyer was appointed Executive Director at America’s Central Port on July 1, 2010, prior to which he served 11 years with the Port District, six as General Manager.With over 30 years of experience, Dennis brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table in the areas of transportation, planning, and economic development. His responsibilities include developing the Port’s 1,200-acre industrial park and business campus, redeveloping a former military logistics center…

13 May 2019

St. Louis Ports, Terminals Tops in Efficiency

Image: St. Louis Regional Freightway.

Now Capture 39 Percent of the Upper Mississippi River Barge Traffic; new data highlights concentration of river terminals, resulting in greater efficiencies and lower costs.The latest data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) reveals the St. Louis Regional Ports held onto the top ranking as the most efficient inland port district* in the nation in terms of tons moved per river mile during 2017, the most recent year for which final numbers are available. The St. Louis region’s barge industry handled 472,400 tons per mile.

10 May 2019

AIS Data: History & Future

Source: MarineTraffic.com

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) was developed with the sole goal of improving maritime safety by allowing ships in proximity to one another to automatically exchange information regarding their name, course, speed, type, cargo, etc. The exchange of this information would allow conning officers on each ship to make better decisions regarding the possibility of close encounters and the need to change course and/or speed. It would also make it easier for one ship to contact the other by radio-telephone to hopefully remove any doubt.

03 May 2019

Coast Guard Closes Portion of the Mississippi River

The Coast Guard has closed a portion of the Mississippi River to all vessel traffic from mile marker 179 to 184 due to extremely high water levels and fast moving currents, Friday.Vessel operators may request permission to move within the closure zone from the captain of the port representative at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River via VHF Ch. 16 or at (314) 269-2332 at least 30 minutes prior to movement.Vessel movements within the closure zone should be to monitor or increase waterway and port safety only. The captain of the port will review each request to move within the closure zone on a case-by-base basis.While outside the river closure zone…

02 May 2019

U.S. Dredgers Applaud President for Jones Act Support

Wednesday, 1 May: Late this afternoon, President Donald Trump met with Congressional leaders from the Senate and House to discuss U.S. Maritime Policy. On the table was the Jones Act. President Trump assured the Congressional leaders that he is not seeking any changes to the Jones Act, nor is he seeking any waivers.“President Trump had the Jones Act matters all under control from the get-go”, said William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America. “Mr. Trump is all about jobs and national security — he’s never wavered on this.

18 Apr 2019

BY THE NUMBERS: Replace your Workboat Engine (now)

New Research Doubles Service Life Estimate of Marine Workboat Engines, Reveals Big Opportunities for Diesel Emissions Reductions.It turns out that commercial workboat engines are staying in service more than two times longer than predicted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according new research from the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). That says a lot for the quality of marine engines, but at the same it isn’t necessarily a good thing.

15 Apr 2019

Houston Widens Ship Channel

Image: Port of Houston Authority

The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority has decided to accelerate widening of the Houston Ship Channel, the nation’s busiest waterway.The Port Authority is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other representatives of the federal government, as well as Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel stakeholders, to obtain authorization and accelerated funding and completion, of a deepened and widened ship channel.“The Houston Ship Channel is open for business for all and will continue to be…

29 Mar 2019

Port of Corpus Christi Readies VLCC Terminal

Pic: Port of Corpus Christi

The fourth-largest port in the United States in total tonnage, Port of Corpus Christi has leased land where it hopes to build the nation's first export terminal to load very large crude carriers (VLCC).The Port of Corpus Christi Commission approved today a long-term (50-year) lease agreement with Lone Star Ports, a joint venture between the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group, for approximately 200 acres on Harbor Island to develop a state-of-the-art petroleum export terminal.Featuring the latest in safety, security and environmental technologies, the facility will connect U.S.

19 Mar 2019

$35M for Boston Harbor Dredging Project

Photo: Courtesy Massachusetts Port Authority

The Massachusetts Port Authority announced that $35 million has been secured to help fund the ongoing Boston Harbor Dredging Project. The project is approximately 30 percent complete, and this funding will enable the project to continue on schedule.The project is a $350 million partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Massport. The maintenance dredging of the inner harbor was completed in December of 2017. The deepening of the main ship channels began in July 2018 to accommodate the large container vessels calling today and in the future.

19 Mar 2019

AAPA, Port Industry Mourn Loss of Steve Cernak

Steven M. Cernak

Mr. Cernak was AAPA’s immediate past Chairman and its 2019 Cruise Award recipient.Port Everglades Chief Executive and Director Steven M. Cernak passed away over the weekend, following a long, valiant battle with cancer. He was the immediate past Chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and immediate past Chairman of the Florida Ports Council.Upon learning of Mr. Cernak’s passing, AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle said: “Today we mourn the loss of one of the greatest champions of the port industry…

18 Mar 2019

USCG Closes Portion of Missouri River

The Coast Guard issued a waterway closure to all vessel traffic on the Missouri River from mile marker 450 near St. Joseph, Missouri, to mile marker 550 approximately 50 miles south of Omaha, Nebraska, due to high water levels and dangerous currents, Friday.The Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers are requesting all operators create as minimal wake as possible between mile marker 375 near Kansas City, Missouri, to mile marker 450 near St. Joseph, Missouri, on the Missouri River to minimize levee damage.Restrictions to operations will be lifted as soon as conditions improve.“The safety of the maritime public is the Coast Guard’s top priority,” said Lt.

15 Mar 2019

$138M Allocated for Charleston Harbor

Image: South Carolina Ports Authority

President Donald Trump included $138 million in his budget for the coming year to help deepen Charleston Harbor to 52 feet so it can handle larger container ships, said Charleston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.The project, in the works since 2011, had never been included in a president’s budget until now. The U.S. Army Corps last year revised a formula that measures the project’s economic benefit, putting it above the threshold needed for consideration.The Charleston…

14 Mar 2019

Towing Vessel Sinks Near Baton Rouge

A section of the the lower Mississippi River has been closed to vessel traffic after a towing vessel sank near Baton Rouge, La., Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.The Coast Guard said its watchstanders in New Orleans received a report at 11 a.m. that the towing vessel Michelle Anne sank at Baton Rouge General Anchorage near mile marker 226 on the Mississippi River.The four crewmembers aboard the Michelle Ann escaped and were rescued by a nearby tug. There were no reported injuries.The waterway is closed from mile marker 224.5 to mile marker 226.A Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge incident management team deployed to the scene to look for signs of pollution.

13 Mar 2019

President's Request Cuts Funding for USACE

Mike Toohey  (Photo: WCI)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration’s release of an outline of its top-line FY20 budget numbers yesterday. Today, the Corps of Engineers released its account and project-specific funding levels. For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, the FY20 budget proposes $4.827 billion, a 31% cut from the FY19 appropriated amount of $7.0 billion. Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) proposed funding in FY20 is $55.5 million, with a total of $111 million requested for the Lower Mon Project (Monongahela River, Pittsburgh), funding it to completion.

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