USNS Mercy Arrives in Los Angeles
U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in Los Angeles, Friday to support the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.While in Los Angeles, the ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals, and will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults. This will allow local health professionals to focus on treating COVID-19 patients and for shore-based hospitals to use their Intensive Care Units and ventilators for those patients.Operated by Military Sealift Command…
Dredgers Make Way for USNS Comfort in New York
Dredgers are expediting operations in New York to make way for the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, which will dock in the epicenter of America's COVID-19 outbreak to assist hospitals that become overrun by the pandemic.Dredging contractor Donjon Marine Co., Inc. was contacted last week and asked to begin dredging Manhattan Cruise Terminal’s Berth 4 in anticipation of the arrival of the ship, which under the order of President Trump will serve as a relief hospital facility for non-coronavirus patients needing hospital care.
St. Lawrence Seaway/Great Lakes Shipping Season Commences
The St. Lawrence Seaway’s 62nd navigation season kicked off on Tuesday with the transit of the Canadian-flagged cement carrier NACC Argonaut through Lock 8 on the Welland Canal.Then, in the early hours on Wednesday morning, first U.S.-flag commercial vessel transited the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., signaling the start of the U.S. fleet's 2020 sailing season.The Seaway’s Montreal / Lake Ontario section will open on April 1 this year, eight days after the opening of the Welland Canal.
The National Freight Strategic Plan and the Inland Waterways
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was enacted in December 2015. The FAST Act required the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop a National Freight Strategic Plan to address multimodal freight transportation. In the Federal Register of December 27, 2019, DOT requested information from the public, including industry trade groups, to aid development of the National Freight Strategic Plan.This article summarizes certain of the comments that were submitted by Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc. (IRPT) in response to DOT’s request.
Big Ship Ready Port Dredging Kicks off 2020
The end of the 2019 saw some unprecedented funding measure pass through Congress and signed into law by President Trump. The Gulf and East Coast have continued to receive significant funding to help deepen and widen navigational channels and gateways. One of the projects passed into law included the Gulf Coast Regional Demonstration Project. Some of the ports receiving funding and underway include Mobile, Baltimore, Houston, Port Everglades and Norfolk. All these projects funded by Congress draw a direct correlation to the expanded Panama Canal.
BHGI Scores USACE Contract
Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. (BHGI) was recently awarded an Indefinite Delivery Contract (IDC) for naval architecture and marine engineering services for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Philadelphia District, Marine Design Center. This contract continues BHGI’s partnership with the Marine Design Center (MDC). Some of the projects BHGI has worked on for the USACE include, but are not limited to, retrofits, finite element analyses, electric load analyses, vibration analyses and computational fluid dynamics analyses as well as barge, towboat and dredge design.In partnership with MDC since 2010, BHGI and the MDC team worked on a wide variety of projects both for the USACE and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and NASA.
Calhoun Steps In as WCI's Interim President/CEO
Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) Senior Vice President Deb Calhoun has taken over as Interim President/CEO, effective February 18, 2020, following the retirement of President/CEO Michael J. Toohey.To begin the process to select a permanent President/CEO, an executive search firm will be retained and later announced, WCI said.Calhoun has been with WCI since its founding in 2003, and with its predecessor organization Waterways Work!, and has been instrumental in managing WCI’s overall portfolio and communicating its successes and priorities.
The Congress worked hard and most importantly together at the end of the recently-concluded First Session in December to finalize and pass Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations that included the Energy & Water Development (E&WD) Appropriations bill that funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) work on the nations’ waterways.By law, 60 days after the President signs the E&WD appropriations bill, the Corps must release a Work Plan that shows specific allocations for funding projects.
The Federal Government’s 2020 Inland Impact
It is often difficult to push through the federal government morass to focus on the issues that actually matter to the inland operator. While 2020 inevitably will be a contentious year in American politics, it is critical to stay focused on the items that will have direct impact on the U.S. maritime industry. From a potential new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill to potential Jones Act challenges, 2020 will be an important year for inland operators to stay politically engaged.Work on WRDAJanuary marked the beginning of Congress’ work in earnest toward introducing a new WRDA bill.
Robust Dredging on America’s Inland Waterways
Inland Dredging Company helps keep commerce flowing on America’s inland waterway system.Dyersburg, Tenn. based Inland Dredging Company completed dredging projects spanning eight states and across four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Districts. Beginning in July and finishing in December (2019), Inland Dredging crews dredged ports and harbors along the Mighty Mississippi River, Ouachita River, Red River, Black Warrior River, Atchafalaya River, Tennessee–Tombigbee Waterway, and the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway from Apalachicola to Morgan City.Richard Jackson…
US Ports Get More Than $280 Mln in MARAD Grants
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that it has awarded more than $280 million in discretionary grant funding through the new Port Infrastructure Development Program. This funding is designed to improve port facilities at or near coastal seaports.The Port Infrastructure Development Program supports efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve facility and freight infrastructure to ensure our nation’s freight transportation needs, present and future, are met.
Dredging at the Forefront of Corps' 2020 Work Plan
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' FY2020 Work Plan release on Monday places dredging at the forefront.“We welcome the FY 2020 Work Plan released by the Army Corps,” said William P. Doyle, CEO of the Dredging Contractors of America. “We’re ready – our dredging companies are hard at work on projects and continue to build new dredging ships for America’s ports, waterways and beaches.”The Work Plan is based on the FY2020 Energy and Water Development appropriations bills signed into law by President Trump in December 2019.In December 2019…
WCI Applauds Corps’ FY20 Work Plan
Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) offered praise for Congress, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ for the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) work plan that lays out allocations for funds provided in the FY20 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill toward the Corps’ civil works mission. The work plan was released late yesterday.Critical to the nation’s agricultural shippers and American family farmers, the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) (Upper Mississippi River – Illinois Waterway System: IL…
Trump's FY21 Budget Request 'Inadequate' -WCI
President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget request released on Monday is "astonishingly inadequate" says industry advocate Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI).The FY21 budget provides $0 for construction of ongoing priority navigation projects cost-shared through the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF); cuts funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Mission by 22% ($5.967 billion, a $1.7 billion decrease from the FY20 enacted level); and proposes $1.8 million in new user fees on commercial waterways operators.Last fiscal year (FY20)…
$85M Okayed to Deepen Mississippi to 50Ft
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2020 Work Plan includes $85 million to deepen the Mississippi River to 50 feet.House Republican Whip Steve Scalise announced that the US Army Corps of Engineers 2020 Work Plan includes funding for infrastructure projects in Louisiana, including $85 million to deepen the Mississippi River to 50 feet.After years of hard work, I’m very glad that the Corps included over $160 million for critical infrastructure projects in Louisiana, including $85 million to deepen the lower Mississippi River to 50 feet.
The Mighty Mississippi: Taming the Bull
The beneficial use of dredge material sets a record in FY 2019. And, we’re just getting started. Funding will be the key.In mid-November 2018, concerns began to rise about an unseasonably high river stages on the Upper Mississippi River Basin generated by significant precipitation events. As a navigation representative on the Lower Mississippi River, I have unfortunately learned that the river system is changing and that precipitation around the world has been increasing for decades.
USACE Memphis District Dredging Wraps Up
The Memphis District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has several missions associated with the Mississippi River. One of the most important is to keep the river channel at a depth that allows the river barge industry to dependably transport goods up and down the river.To deliver on this charge, the Memphis District awarded a contract/task order in the amount of $7,987,200 to the Inland Dredging Company in April of 2019. On Dec. 23, 2019, Inland Dredging Co. completed all work with a total of 1…
Manson Wins $8.4M Dredging Contract
Manson Construction Co., Seattle, Washington, was awarded an $8,396,000 firm-fixed-price contract for dredging of the Mississippi River. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work will be performed in Plaquemines, Louisiana, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 12, 2020. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance-Recovery Act and civil works funds in the amount of $8,396,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans, Louisiana, is the contracting activity (W912P8-20-C-0010).
The Top 10 Workboat Stories for 2019
Choosing the year’s ‘top stories’ is always a difficult task. Many compelling story threads played out, each dramatically impacting the North American waterfront, and in particular, the workboat sector – each in their own unique way.The Infrastructure Battle ContinuesThe EXECUTIVE SUMMARY H.R. 2396, the “Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act”, will ensure that the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is used for its intended purpose – maintaining Federally-authorized harbors. The legislation would allow the U.S.
Protecting Ports from Sea Level Rise
Coastal flooding disasters have occurred periodically through history often followed by construction of flood defenses to help ensure it does not happen again. One of the most well known was the 1953 North Sea Flood in the Netherlands when a storm surge occurred on top of astronomical high tides causing thousands of deaths, property and economic damages. The Dutch and UK reacted and increased construction of sea defenses including storm surge barriers, such as the Delta Works and River Thames barriers.
Boston’s Conley Terminal Receives Two New RTG Cranes
On Saturday, November 2nd, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) received two new rubber-tired gantries (RTGs), increasing the number of RTGs at the Paul W. Conley Container Terminal to 16. Adding equipment is part of an $850 million investment to keep Conley Terminal competitive and efficient with truck turntimes averaging under 35 minutes. Another two RTGs were also delivered back in May. The Port of Boston contributes over $8 billion to the regional economy and supports more than 9,000 direct jobs.
St. Louis Regional Freightway: The Year in Review
The St. Louis Regional Freightway has compiled a summary of the major developments over the past year that either elevated the St. Louis region’s global status as a world-class freight hub or will help to advance the region’s position as the country’s freight nexus in the year ahead.“From mega projects breaking ground and global companies choosing to invest here, to newly formed partnerships that strengthen the bi-state region’s role in national and global supply chains, there was much to be excited about in 2019…
Interview: Cory Wood, VP, Bristol Harbor Group
Born at the University of Michigan in the early 1990s, Bristol Harbor Group (BHG) has grown into a diverse and widely respected naval architecture and marine engineering firm. Cory Wood, Vice President and one of the four co-founders of BHG, discusses the companies past and design drivers to power its future.The University of Michigan runs one of the most prestigious naval architecture and marine engineering programs in the country, but when Cory Wood entered U of M, he did so with the intent of becoming an aerospace engineer.