Mississippi River Ship Channel Deepening Project Moves Forward
The Mississippi River Ship Channel could be the first port complex on the Gulf Coast to reach a depth of 50 feet now that the Director’s Report has been signed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Elected officials and industry leaders have long worked to increase the channel’s depth to 50 feet, which is the same depth of the expanded Panama Canal.In signing the Report, Corps of Engineers Director of Civil Works James C. Dalton stated the project is “economically justified and…
Louisiana Dredging Outlook
When maritime stakeholders think about dredging, they typically first conjure up visions of harbor deepening projects to accommodate those giant, post-Panamax boxships. Conversely, inland players hope for maintenance dredging in the heartland to keep the nation’s 31,000 cargo barges afloat as they head for the coast. But, there is much more to it than that. In Louisiana, dredging, of course, keeps Louisiana's waterways open for navigation, provides material for coastal restoration and helps industrial plants with drainage. The biggest projects are sponsored by the U.S.
Few Passengers, Lack of Staff, Force Ferry Route Closure
The Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (DOTD) announce that the White Castle ferry will close permanently on Friday, June 21, 2013. Due to the resignation of ferry staff, the White Castle ferry which was originally scheduled to close permanently on Friday, June 28, will cease service on Friday, June 21. Ferry employees were originally scheduled to be laid off after service ended. The ferry is being closed based on recommendations from the Streamlining Committee citing low ferry ridership and a reasonable alternative river crossing.
Louisiana DOTD Ferry to Undergo Repairs
Beginning Monday, July 1, 2013, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) will begin new hours of operation temporarily utilizing the Motor Vessel Louis B. Porterie, a medium-sized ferry servicing vehicles and pedestrians, at the Algiers Point to Canal Street route. The Porterie will be in service while the permanent ferry, the MV Col. Frank X. Armiger, is out of service. The Armiger’s generator is currently in need of repair and DOTD is waiting on a second proposal to determine the cost. The Armiger will be the primary vessel once it repaired and cleared for service by the U.S. Coast Guard. As of now, there is no estimated time frame for when the Arminger will return. The Algiers/Canal ferry will now operate Monday-Thursday from 7:15 a.m.
Coast Guard Investigates Bridge Allision
New Orleans -Coast Guard personnel and state officials investigated an incident where a crane barge floated away from its moorings at approximately 8 p.m. Sunday night and hit the Huey P. Long Bridge. No one was injured and the bridge was not damaged in the accident. The barge was originally moored at the Avondale Shipyard facility, with three smaller barges connected to it. The lines that moored the barge to the dock broke and it floated approximately 200-yards down river striking the bridge. The crane struck the underside of the bridge, snagging on some tension wires. The barge did not hit any of the stone foundations, supporting the bridge. The barge did partically block a portion of the ship channel, but vessel traffic was not seriously affected.
Louisiana's Algiers Point Ferry Service Suspended
The Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (DOTD) announces that ferry service between Algiers Point and Canal Street has been suspended pending repairs to the motor vessel servicing the Lower Algiers to Chalmette route. The estimated time of service resuming at Algiers Point is unknown and DOTD will not have a definitive update until after electricians determine the required repair. The Motor Vessel St. John was operating at Chalmette when the steering system caused a mechanical failure interrupting service at approximately noon, today. At 3 p.m., after multiple attempts to troubleshoot, DOTD made the decision to suspend service to the Canal Street ferry route and move the boat operating there, the M/V Levy, to Chalmette. Service at Chalmette resumed at approximately 4 p.m.
Guascor Engines Make Serious Inroads
Guascor Inc, a manufacturer of diesel and gas engines, power systems and marine reduction gears based in Northern Spain and distributed throughout the Southeastern United States by Reagan Equipment Company, Inc. has accumulated a number of interesting references in the past six months, installations that should go a long way in extending the brand to users throughout the country. For the Louisiana Department of Transportation's Ferry Division, Guascor supplied a pair of SF 180 TAs for the repower and repair of the 30-year-old ferryboat, M/V Acadia. M/V Acadia has a busy work life, crossing the Mississippi River at State Route 75 in Plaquemine, LA, every half-hour, 16 hours a day, seven days a week carrying up to 35 cars per trip.
Container on Barge Service Launched
The Port of Greater Baton Rouge announced a new weekly short-sea shipping service for containers via barge to the Port of New Orleans. This regular service is scheduled weekly to facilitate demand from local industry. Osprey Line operates the container terminal at the Baton Rouge port’s Inland Rivers Marine Terminal and launched the first weekly shipment Friday, January 9, 2004 to the Napoleon Street Wharf Container Terminal in New Orleans. Osprey Line President Rick Couch said, “With this weekly container-on-barge shipping schedule, local companies who import and export products to and from the Port of New Orleans can take advantage of lower transportation costs. Most products can be moved by container-on-barge.
Mississippi River Deepening Study
The Big River Coalition and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development commissioned economist Dr. Tim Ryan to calculate the economic impacts that deepening the Mississippi River would have on the state and national economy. The results of the study will be released during a press conference at the Port of New Orleans Administration Building, 1350 Port of New Orleans Place, Thursday, Aug. 22 at 3:15 p.m. Expected to be in attendance for the release of “The Economic Impact of Deepening the Mississippi River to 50 Feet” are U.S. Senator David Vitter, Ranking Member U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works; Captain Mike Lorino, Big River Coalition Chairman; Sean M.
Study: Deeper Miss. River Would Add $11.5 Billion to U.S. Economy
U.S. Senator David Vitter, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, joined industry and Louisiana transportation officials here today for the release of a new economic impact report detailing the benefits of deepening the Mississippi River to 50 feet from its current 45-foot draft. The Big River Coalition and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development commissioned the study by noted economist Tim Ryan, PhD., entitled “The…
St. Francisville/New Roads Ferry Repairs
Repair work continues on the M/V St. Francisville’s propeller, the vessel that runs at the St. Francisville/New Roads ferry landing The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) said on Dec. 19. Ferry service stopped Dec. 10 when it was discovered that the vessel’s propeller was damaged because of low water levels in the Mississippi River. As water levels drop the propeller will sometimes hit the river bed or debris causing damage. While repairs continue on the M/V St. Francisville, DOTD has scheduled the M/V New Roads, which was damaged during Hurricane Gustav, for a final inspection with the U.S. Coast Guard. “Our goal is to restore service before Christmas,” said DOTD Maintenance Engineer Kevin Reed. The schedule for the St. Francisville/New Roads ferry is 6 a.m.
Ferries Swapped Due to Mechanical Issues
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced it will swap vessels at the Lower Algiers to Chalmette ferry route due to a mechanical issue. The Motor Vessel Levy will be replaced with the smaller M/V St. John at 1 p.m., today. The smaller vessel will run indefinitely, so ferry passengers should expect delays during peak travel times. DOTD said it will alert the public when the larger boat is ready to resume service. dotd.la.gov/ferry
Plaquemine Ferry Runs 17-Car Vessel
On Feb. 11, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced that the 35-car M/V Acadia was taken out of service at the Plaquemine ferry landing because of a broken rudder. The M/V Acadia was taken to the shipyard and replaced with the smaller 17-car M/V Feliciana. Vehicle restrictions for the smaller vessel are: no trailers, no more than two axles, and no more than six wheels. Large trucks and trailers should use the Interstate 10 Mississippi River Bridge. The operating hours for the Plaquemine ferry are 5 a.m. - 9 p.m. seven days a week. Before traveling, drivers should call the Ferry Toll-Free Information line at 1-888-613-3779 for the status of the ferry, or visit the “Ferry Status” page on the right-hand side of the DOTD Web site. (www.dotd.la.gov)
Op/Ed: Making the Mississippi River Mightier
A plan unfolds and support grows for a 50-foot Ship Channel to support economical and efficient grain exports. The Big River Coalition remains at the heart of that collaborative effort to make the Mississippi River Mightier. In 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Institute of Water Resources (IWR) released a report under the direction of Congress to document the status of U.S. Ports to accept post-panamax vessels. The report, entitled, “U.S. Port and Inland Waterways Modernization: Preparing for Post-Panamax Vessels” was officially released on June 20, 2012.
St. Francisville/New Roads Ferry Shut Down
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced that the St. Francisville/New Roads ferry crossing is closed because of a fuel tank leak that spilled diesel fuel into the river Saturday, April 25 at 8:30 p.m. The damaged ferry was shut down while the U.S. Coast Guard and National Spill Response Center were notified. The spill was mitigated by the Marine Spill Response Organization and all diesel fuel was pumped out of the compromised fuel tank as of 2:30 p.m. April 26. DOTD will work with U.S. Coast Guard officials to address the fuel tank repair. The ferry crossing is expected to be out of service for at least the remainder of the week. The regular operating hours for the ferry are 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days a week.
St. Francisville/New Roads Ferry Resumes Ops
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced on May 8 that the St. Francisville/New Roads ferry service has resumed operations with a 35-car vessel. The ferry service had previously been running with a 17-car vessel until crews completed repairs to the fuel tank of the main St. Francisville/New Roads ferry, and the U.S. Coast Guard approved the ferry to return to service. The ferry will maintain its normal hours of operation from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days a week. Vehicle restrictions that were in place for the smaller vessel have been lifted. Before traveling, drivers can call the Toll-Free Ferry Information line at 1-888-613-3779 for the status of the ferry…
Chalmette Ferry Resumes Operations
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced that the Lower Algiers/Chalmette ferry has resumed service. The ferry closed at 6:00 p.m. on July 31 to make repairs to the ferry landing. While conducting a routine inspection of the landing, department staff found that some of the ferry landing’s pilings were in need of repair. The ferry will maintain its normal hours of operation from 6:00 a.m. to 8:45 p.m., seven days a week.
West Calcasieu Port Awards Dredging Contract
The West Calcasieu Port Board of Commissioners voted this week to award the contract for the dredging of the Louisiana port's west barge basin to Coastal Dredging Company, Inc. of Hammond, La.. The successful base bid of $1,334,020 was the lowest among six bids received by the port during its competitive public bid process. “The West Cal Port Board of Commissioners was encouraged to have received such a large number of bid packets for the project,” said Dick Kennison, board president for the West Calcasieu Port.
New Orleans Port Signs Mou With Cuba
Port of New Orleans Chief Operating Officer Brandy Christian joined Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in signing a memorandum of understanding with Cuba on Oct. 4 pledging to expand trade and commerce opportunities between Louisiana and the Caribbean nation. The agreement also calls for joint marketing and information sharing efforts to meet those objectives. “The proximity and historical relationship between Cuba and the Port of New Orleans has us well-positioned should the trade embargo be lifted…
NTSB Investigating Tanker Collision
A February tanker accident, in which a 798-foot oil tanker struck the I-10 Bridge in Baton Rouge, La., is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. The tanker tore off a bumper on the bridge pylon system meant to protect hulls of passing ships. The damage is estimated at $10 million. According to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, a lawsuit will be filed against the company that owns the tanker to pay for the damage. However, DOTD officials claim the accident pilot error. The New Orleans and Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots - which the pilot was a member - plans to hold a hearing Sept. 26 to investigate the incident.