Mississippi

  • The Old River Control Structure and its future implications for the Mighty Mississippi

    Prior to about 1500, the bodies of water now called the Mississippi River and the Red River (also known as the Red River of the South) were roughly parallel along their southern reaches, each emptying separately into the Gulf of Mexico.  About 1500, the Mississippi, which has a long history of meandering, developed a large bend to the west in the vicinity of what is now Point Breeze, Louisiana.  That bend, sometimes referred to as Turnbull’s Bend, connected with the Red River and had the effect of making the Red River basically a tributary of the Mississippi, with only a small portion of its waterflow continuing south.  That southern waterflow is now called the Atchafalaya River.  
    Everything was fine until 1831, because the water basins in that region shifted regularly about every 1,000 years.  The land and its occupants, including humans, adjusted.  The early 1800s saw the rise of the steamboat era.  Time became paramount.  Turnbull’s Bend was a 20-mile detour that only moved the steamboat two miles further as the crow flies. This was unacceptable.  
    Henry Shreve, a steamboat captain and owner, inventor, and engineer, had developed technology to clear snags and obstructions from the river.  In 1831, he dug a shortcut across the narrowest portion of Turnbull’s Bend, shortening the Mississippi by over 17 miles.  The meander lost most of its waterflow and became known as the Old River and carried a relatively small amount of water between the Mississippi and the Red/Atchafalaya River.  When the Mississippi was high, the Old River flowed west.  When the Mississippi was low, the Old River flowed east.  The majority of the time, the Mississippi was higher than the Red/Atchafalaya River.
    Initially, the total waterflow through the Atchafalaya was about 10% of that through the Mississippi, but over time this varied to as high as 30%.  Since the length of the Atchafalaya was noticeably less than the length of the Mississippi from Point Breese to the Gulf and since the Mississippi continued to meander, there was concern that the Mississippi might eventually change course and flow through the Atchafalaya.  This would have the effect of largely cutting Baton Rouge and New Orleans off from the significant waterflow, devastating their economies.
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was called upon to resolve the potential problem.  In 1963, it completed construction of the Old River Control Structure at Point Breeze.  The structure’s mission was to maintain the status quo, keeping the waterflow of the Atchafalaya at 30% that of the Mississippi.  This was accomplished by means of the Low Sill Control Structure for regulation of routine waterflow through operation of a dam and outflow channel and the Overbank Control Structure for supplemental waterflow control when the Mississippi floods.  A navigation channel and lock were also included, allowing tugs and barges to transit between to two river systems.  
    A major flood in 1973 severely tested the Control Structure and nearly caused its complete failure.  Flood waters scoured a 55-foot hole under the south end of the Low Sill Control Structure and part of it collapsed into the waterway.  It took the emergency dumping of 250 thousand tons of rock into the waterway to save the structure.
    An Auxiliary Structure was added in 1986 to reduce pressure on the original floodgates and a hydroelectric facility was added in 1990.  The hydroelectric facility takes advantage of the difference in water levels between the two rivers to generate electricity and has largely eliminated the need for water to flow through the Low Sill Control Structure during normal conditions.  
    The problem with the hydroelectric facility is that it only removes water from the Mississippi.  The silt is filtered and largely prevented from entering the Atchafalaya.  As a result, the ever-present silt remains in the Big Muddy and is distributed through a smaller volume of water, while a noticeable amount of the clean water has been sent to the Atchafalaya River. The additional clear water leads to increased scouring of the Atchafalaya River basin.  The now siltier Mississippi has a difficult time keeping all that silt in suspension.  Much of it descends to the bottom.  As the river bottom comes up, so must the water level at the surface.  This has the effect of requiring levees along the river to be raised.  It also has the effect of increasing the pressure on the Old River Control Structure.  The increased silt deposit is also a reason that dredging of the river in constantly taking place.
    Eventually, nature will prevail and the main river channel at Point Breeze will shift from the Lower Mississippi to the Atchafalaya.  This will have major immediate and long-term consequences for both river basins, their inhabitants, and their infrastructure.  Millions live within the Mississippi River basin south of Point Breeze.  Another million live in the Atchafalaya River basin.  There are billions of dollars of infrastructure in the Mississippi River basin and a substantial amount in the Atchafalaya River basin.  In addition, those living and working in the Mississippi River basin depend on the river with its significant water flow to prevent salt water intrusion into the water table.  The U.S. petro-chemical and grain exporting businesses will be devastated.
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declines to say when this change in the water flow will occur, but does not argue with the proposition that it is inevitable.  The Corps does say that it will continue to operate the Old River Control Structure, holding back the Mississippi’s predilection to move west, so long as Congress continues to appropriate the necessary funds to maintain and upgrade the structure.  There will come a point, though, when Plan B must be considered.
    The Mississippi River and its Old River Control Structure are vital parts of our national infrastructure.  Close attention to their situation is of national importance.




     


  • D. John Nichols, president of Mississippi Marine Corp., Greenville, Miss., has announced the appointment of R. Monroe Barrett and Hugh Smith Jr. to executive posts in the firm. Mr. Barrett recently joined Mississippi Marine as manager of marketing and repair operations, while Mr. Smith has assumed the

  • Carl B. Hakenjos, vice president of William-McWilliams Co., Inc. in New Orleans, La., was elected president of the Mississippi Valley Flood Control Branch of the Associated General Contractors of America, Inc. at its recent annual meeting at the Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans. Other officers

  • John Nichols, president of Mississippi Marine Towboat Corporation, Greenville, Miss., announced recently that he and partners T.R. Pittman and Mrs. Lilie M. (Skeeter) Choate of Greenville, have purchased the John H. Cox family interest in Mississippi Marine for an undisclosed amount. John H.

  • The badly fire-damaged M/V Lillian G has been completely repaired and extensively modified at Mississippi Marine Towboat Corporation's shipyard in Greenville, Miss. According to John Nichols, president of Mississippi Marine, the 1,700-hp, 90-foot by 30-foot by 10-foot Lillian G, owned by Mon River

  • Contracts have been signed for the purchase of three new offshore oil field service vessels by Gulf Mississippi Marine Corporation of New Orleans, La. Representing a cumulative investment of $6,400,000, the boats were acquired by Gulf Mississippi Marine from George Engine Company, Inc. of Harvey, La.

  • Mississippi Marine Towboat Corporation, Greenville, Miss., recently launched its first offshore supply vessel. The 112-foot by 26- foot by 11-foot 2-inch Utility-class vessel was designed by the naval architectural and marine engineering firm of van Bentem and Associates of Ocean Springs, Miss.

  • A new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report describes how advanced optical sensor technology is being used in the Mississippi River basin to accurately track the nitrate pulse to the Gulf of Mexico. Excessive springtime nitrate runoff from agricultural land and other sources in the Mississippi drainage

  • U.S.-Flag dredgers answer the call in the Mississippi River Basin.Major flooding this winter in the Mississippi River Basin has created significant increased shoaling in the Southwest Pass Channel of the Mississippi River. Shoaling is generally described as the river containing elevated levels of sand and

  • Jeffboat, Inc., Jeffersonville, Ind., recently announced the keel laying for the M/Y Capt. Neville Levy, a ferry under construction for the Mississippi River Bridge Authority, New Orleans, La. Completion is set for late 1977. The Capt. Neville Levy will carry up to 40 automobiles and 1,000 passengers

  • Avondale Shipyard enroute to its second phase of facelifting at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss, it was towed downriver on the Mississippi by Gulf Fleet Marine's Gulf Ace II, a 5,600 hp class tug, while another Gulf Fleet Marine vessel, the Gulf Commander, a 9,000 hp class tug

  • by Dinko's Marine Service, Inc. of Aransas Pass, Texas, to build a second passenger/supply vessel for that firm. D. John Nichols, president of Mississippi Marine, said the boat, now under construction and scheduled for delivery to Dinko's in March 1980, is as yet unassigned and will be available

  • MN Jan-20#47  both main 
up and down the Mississippi River over the course)
    January 2020 - Marine News page: 47

    per hour (approxi- sumption while idle and in-use during normal operations mately 12.5% savings), when compared against both main up and down the Mississippi River over the course of sev- engines and auxiliary generator set in the baseline condition. eral weeks in the summer of 2019. While in use, the

  • MN Jan-20#44  weeks by ?  ooding on the 
Mississippi river … Compounding)
    January 2020 - Marine News page: 44

    ech file T “The grain industry is facing challenges on multiple fronts. This year, grain barges were stalled for weeks by ? ooding on the Mississippi river … Compounding the issue, many of these barges were held even longer due to the trade dispute with China. There is no way to know what is

  • MN Jan-20#43  weeks by ?  ooding on the Mississippi river. Due 
portantly)
    January 2020 - Marine News page: 43

    on multiple fronts. This year, grain barges were rent and historical trends of every sensor, and, more im- stalled for weeks by ? ooding on the Mississippi river. Due portantly, quickly view the health of an entire grain stor- to changing weather patterns from climate change, this age operation.

  • MN Dec-19#26  across the majority of the Mississippi River Ba-
ni?  cant)
    December 2019 - Marine News page: 26

    the Upper Mis- opening of 2019. The Great Flood of 2019 eclipsed stage sissippi River Basin generated by sig- level records across the majority of the Mississippi River Ba- ni? cant precipitation events. As a sin, especially below Cairo, IL. All but a handful of mainline navigation representative on the

  • MN Dec-19#8  the Cape May-
across the Mississippi River  Lewes Ferry)
    December 2019 - Marine News page: 8

    Coalition. The Big River Coalition is committed to pro- Derek Robinson is a Port tecting maritime commerce Captain with the Cape May- across the Mississippi River Lewes Ferry. Robinson, a life- and Tributaries (MRT) and is long resident of South Jersey, Ewing Fuhrmann at the forefront of efforts

  • MR Nov-19#83  rope 
west bank of the Mississippi River. It 
monitoring)
    November 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 83

    the Schoellhorn- has a 150-tonne safe working load (SWL) Albrecht building was located on the capacity and features an advanced rope west bank of the Mississippi River. It monitoring and management system that began by providing steamboat engines maximizes rope lifespan and provides and deck equipment

  • MN Nov-19#81  Administration (NOAA) 
Mississippi River’s Southwest Pass)
    November 2019 - Marine News page: 81

    , and tightly The National Oceanic and At- beach building, and clearing out the con? ned footprints. Usually two or mospheric Administration (NOAA) Mississippi River’s Southwest Pass more disposal barges, called scows, are closely regulates turbidity levels result- during the annual ? ood season. used

  • MN Nov-19#8  his 
Alabama Rivers, Lower Mississippi, Great  hands-on practical)
    November 2019 - Marine News page: 8

    vessels from subsea electro-mechanical and soft- Maine to Corpus Christi, TX, including the ware engineering, combined with his Alabama Rivers, Lower Mississippi, Great hands-on practical offshore experience, Lakes and Erie Canal. Tug & Barge Solu- mean he brings a multi-disciplinary ap- tions exists to

  • MP Q3-19#42  Works, Inc., based in Mississippi. This 
  emissions)
    Sep/Oct 2019 - Maritime Logistics Professional page: 42

    . The top handlers are designed and built in the The Blueprint will identify the path toward zero U.S. by Taylor Machine Works, Inc., based in Mississippi. This emissions and an economical, demonstrated equipment loads, unloads and stacks containers weighing up to appr oach to EV planning

  • MN Sep-19#59 .com
the lower Mississippi River, when 
Standard)
    September 2019 - Marine News page: 59

    transfer through steel plates. secondary seal during operations in for its advanced enginei technology. www.nipponpaint-marine.com the lower Mississippi River, when Standard Calibrations Inc. (SCI), the vessel suffered catastrophic tail- a specialist measurement science shaft failure in shallow

  • MN Sep-19#53  Uni-
versity of Southern Mississippi and an  Sutton to vice)
    September 2019 - Marine News page: 53

    a mas- 17 years. Crowley also promoted Peter ter’s degree in business administration business administration from the Uni- versity of Southern Mississippi and an Sutton to vice president of health, safe- from Harvard Business School. September 2019 MN 52 MN Sept19 Layout 50-59.indd 52 8/27/2019

  • MN Oct-19#33 , operator of the M-55 lower Mississippi River ser- and CEO)
    October 2019 - Marine News page: 33

    the at- actually originates further up the river system. Seacor tention of the bankers. Edward M. A. Zimny, President AMH, operator of the M-55 lower Mississippi River ser- and CEO of investment bank Seabury Maritime LLC re- vice, gathers empty containers out of Memphis (a junc- cently weighed in with MLPro

  • MN Oct-19#27 , from Chicago to the Mississippi, has 
Maritime operators)
    October 2019 - Marine News page: 27

    INLAND LOGISTICS set of complicated lock-and-dam projects on the Il- Ready or Not … linois Waterway, from Chicago to the Mississippi, has Maritime operators got an advance look at dealing with A yellow lights ? ashing throughout the Midwest freight full closure last month, starting September 21, and

  • MN Mar-19#56  site and will be in- lower Mississippi River, its tributar-)
    March 2019 - Marine News page: 56

    employ approximately 400 fuels, feedstocks and lubricants on the uty Administrator of the U.S. Saint workers at the site and will be in- lower Mississippi River, its tributar- Lawrence Seaway Development Cor- vesting millions in capital upgrades ies, and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway poration said,

  • MN Mar-19#52  M/V Virginia on 
the Lower Mississippi River for Cooper Consolidate)
    March 2019 - Marine News page: 52

    , 28-foot wide, and 1,600 horse power vessel is both SIRE and 46 CFR Subchapter M- ready. Plimsoll Marine will operate the M/V Virginia on the Lower Mississippi River for Cooper Consolidated. Metal Shark Delivers Pilot Boat to Brazos Pilots designed by Metal Shark and built at the company’s Frank- lin,

  • MN Mar-19#43  is getting even 
Lower Mississippi, Great Lakes and Erie)
    March 2019 - Marine News page: 43

    from Maine to Corpus Christi, TX, the recordkeeping with his TSMS and including the Alabama Rivers, now a great company is getting even Lower Mississippi, Great Lakes and Erie better. Or if you are on the Gulf Coast Canal. Tug & Barge Solutions exists to help companies and mariners adapt then

  • MR Aug-19#72  facility connects to the Mississippi Sound  survey vessels)
    August 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 72

    for batant, unmanned and port security applications as well as ferries, ? reboats, launching and retrieving boats. The facility connects to the Mississippi Sound survey vessels, tugs, and a variety of aluminum workboats. Vigor ship repair providing riverine and littoral type environments, as well

  • MR Aug-19#53  maximum discharge/  The Mississippi River system has been)
    August 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 53

    cargo, the production man- making these vessel swaps does occur. factors have basically equated to a very ager can ensure maximum discharge/ The Mississippi River system has been Another bene? t of midstream operations conservative estimate of 2.5 million tons load ef? ciency by having the cranes

  • MR Aug-19#52  assets in  changes.   
er Mississippi River, unloading 
your)
    August 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 52

    those not in the know, provide an over- tions, other than some minor service and crew view of the Associated Terminals assets in changes. er Mississippi River, unloading your New Orleans midstream cargo ops. Unlike typical dock operations with ? xed Associated Terminals operates 13 deep assets

  • MR Aug-19#39 .
craftsman and staff to our Mississippi-based shipyard.
 Our)
    August 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 39

    a success- program is scheduled to bring an additional 900 skilled ful, pro? table U.S. shipbuilding business today. craftsman and staff to our Mississippi-based shipyard. Our most valuable asset is our people. We are committed to hiring the brightest and most capable Vessel deliveries: engineering

  • MR Aug-19#38  conditions  state of Mississippi and the U.S. We are)
    August 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 38

    the local community, the the past year? Over the past 24 months, we have invested heav- allows our crews to work in any weather conditions state of Mississippi and the U.S. We are already in the ily in our capital improvements, employee training, while in an environmentally safe atmosphere. The fa- design

  • MR Aug-19#6  and build new. Mississippi River. I was duly im-
Frank)
    August 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 6

    that quality shipowners are increasingly pulling the trigger to dump older handling operations on the Lower +1 631-472-2715 tonnage and build new. Mississippi River. I was duly im- Frank Covella [email protected] +1 561 732 1659 pressed with the operation, a logistical Mike Kozlowski [email protected]

  • MN Aug-19#87  more years to come. Mississippi Sound providing riverine)
    August 2019 - Marine News page: 87

    the small craft Defense production, with hopes of boats. The facility connects to the naval inventory and includes an out- many more years to come. Mississippi Sound providing riverine board powered open and cabin boat and littoral type environments, as well that is lower cost for initial investment

  • MN Aug-19#73  locations on the Ohio 
& Mississippi River systems. The)
    August 2019 - Marine News page: 73

    . A network of SENNEBOGEN distribu- tors throughout North America, Mexico and Argentina includes more than 70 service locations on the Ohio & Mississippi River systems. The new “Green Hybrid” energy recovery system utilizes advanced hydraulic engi- neering to reduce energy costs by up to 50% on every