Vicksburg District

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Our Chief

Tommy Hengst, Chief

River Operations Information

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Billions of cubic yards of material are removed from sites around the globe annually in an effort to keep the big ships, tows, and their cargos moving. Maintenance of navigation channels helps the world economy by promoting efficient trade. Our forefathers recognized this and passed the General Survey Act of 1824, which established the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' role as the Federal water resource agency with the primary mission for constructing and maintaining a safe, reliable, and economically efficient navigation system.

The Monroe Navigation Field Office is responsible for the operation and maintenance of 5 Locks and Dams on the Red River (J. Bennett Johnston Waterway) and 4 Locks and Dams on the Ouachita/Black Waterway. These locks are operated 24 hours a day for navigation.

The field office also maintains 212 miles of channel on the Red River and 337 miles of channel on the Ouachita/ Black Waterway by performing channel surveys, snagging and clearing, and maintenance dredging.

Jonesville Lock and Dam
Mile 25.0
Communications (VHF): MB 16/6
318-339-7839
Lockmaster: Charlie Dozier

 

Columbia Lock and Dam
Mile 117.0
Communications (VHF): MB 16/6
318-649-2049
Lockmaster: Billy Mitchell

 

Felsenthal Lock and Dam
Mile 226.9
Communications (VHF): MB 16/6
870-943-2307
Lockmaster: Larry Dawson

 

H.K. Thatcher Lock and Dam
Mile 281.9
Communications (VHF): MB 7
870-748-2265
Lockmaster: Garland Temple

A Revetment is a facing (such as of stone or concrete) to sustain an embankment. Each autumn the Mat Sinking Unit, with over 350 employees, begins several months of work on the Mississippi River for the annual construction program of establishing permanent locations for the constantly moving river banks using flexible concrete blankets. The designers allow the river to eat away at the banks until they arrive at the desired position and at that point, they are fixed in place. Fixing the banks in a permanent location stops the river from meandering and provides both levee protection and safe navigation channels.

Mat sinking is not an 8-to-5 job, but rather, seasonal work conducted during the traditional low water months of August, September, October and November. When the workers leave Vicksburg on the quarter boats, compared by some to a large, floating hotel, their work season consists of 10-hour shifts for 12 consecutive days with two days off. This mat sinking operation is a unique river operation and is the only one of its kind in the world.

The articulated concrete mattress (mat) arrives on location by barge from one of the mat-casting fields along the river in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. A fleet of 50 mat supply barges, some loaded and on location and some empty and awaiting loading by the mat-loading crew at the casting field, are towed up and down the river by Corps or contract boats.

On location, the mooring barge and spar barge are perpendicular to the shore and the work barge (mat boat) is parallel to shore and tied off to the mooring barge. The work boat positions a supply barge to be tied off to the back of the mat boat and the mat-laying operation is ready to begin.

The four overhead cranes move the 16-block sections of mat from the supply barge across to the mat boat where workers, using a pneumatic "mat-tying" tools, wire the sections together and connect to 3/8-inch launching cables running from the mat boat to the bank. The 4- by 25-foot sections (squares) are tied together with 35 other squares to form one launch. A typical blanket of mat will consist of from 12 to 24 launches. Each supply barge holds 585 squares of mat, consisting of 950 tons of concrete.

In order to get the mat anchored firmly on the bank, anchors are driven in the ground. The crew will hook the mat cables to dozers (tractors) waiting on shore that serve at temporary anchors. The mat boat will then move away from the bank launching the concrete mattress in the process. The mat boat can move riverward 315' along the 400' mooring barge and then spar barges are utilized to allow the mat boat to continue out for the remainder of the channel mat length. The entire plant moves upstream 140 feet and begins the first launch of a new channel mat. The mat forms a protective overcoat to shield the riverbank from erosion and sloughing caused by channel currents and turbulent water associated with river flood stages.

The mat-sinking crew lives and dines on the quarter boats that tie off to the bank near the work area. In fact, many of the crew members love the river life so much they work season after season laying mat on the mighty Mississippi. Although its hard work, the galley cooks provide four exceptional meals a day. The two large dining rooms are designed to feed a crew of over 200, who must eat and be back at work within an hour.

Some of the seasonal professions represented on the mat-sinking crew include clerks, deck hands, drag line operators, electricians, mechanics, quarters boat utility operators, stewards, surveyors, tying tool operators and repairers, tractor drivers, truck drivers and winchmen. These men and women perform one of the most important jobs in the Corps of Engineers river stabilization program. Low water on the river, primarily, determines when the mat season will begin. However, once mat season starts, the operation is ongoing until finished several months later.

Our Mission... River Operations

The River Operations Branch is responsible for channel improvement , dredging, and navigation activities on the lower Mississippi, Red, Ouachita/Black, and Pearl rivers. This work is accomplished by utilizing specialized floating plant, dustpan and cutterhead dredges, towboats, survey boats, and various other river-related equipment. The scope of work encompasses four Corps of Engineers districts, seven states, multiple watersheds, and utilizes the latest technology in river engineering and operations.


Questions or Comments

If we can assist you in anyway or if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact us. Please contact the Vicksburg District Pubic Affairs Offices eugene.s.wall@usace.army.mil

Navigation - Mississippi River

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District assists the U.S. Coast Guard in setting buoys on the Mississippi River from River Mile 325.0 to 600.0. The U.S. Coast Guard is the Federal Agency ultimately tasked with maintaining and setting the Aids to Navigation. The chart below shows the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter's name, river miles covered, home station address, and telephone number.

Cutter Name
River Miles Covered
Home Station Address
Telephone Number
CGC Greenbrier (WLR 75501)
325.0-363.3

440 L.E. Berry Rd., Natchez, MS 39120

601-446-5104
CGC Kickapoo (WLR 75406)
363.3-480.1
P.O. Box 31, Vicksburg, MS 39180-0031
601-636-8304
CGC Patoka (WLR 75408)
480.1-600.0
P.O. Box 468, Greenville, MS 38701-0468
601-332-1060
Greenville Yacht Club - Mile 537.2 LDB
P.O. Box 417, Greenville, MS 38701
662-334-4283; Contact: Conley Sullivan
  • Off channel on Lake Ferguson on four-deck barge with large American flag. 40' depth at dock. Casino boat nearby.
  • Gas and diesel fuel onsite. Electricity (30 amps). Limited transient docking. Ramp. Restrooms. Restaurant/lounge. Open year round.


Within the Vicksburg District, there are 7 ports and harbors on the Mississippi River that are maintained through maintenance dredging. Maintenance of the channels for these ports and harbors is performed annually with cutterhead dredges under contract to the Corps of Engineers.

  • Claiborne County Port
    Mile 404.8 LDB
  • Vicksburg Harbor
    Mile 437.0 LDB
  • Madison Parish Port
    Mile 457.2 RDB
  • Lake Providence Harbor
    Mile 483.4 RDB
  • Greenville Harbor
    Mile 537.0 LDB
  • Yellow Bend Port
    Mile 553.2 RDB
  • Rosedale Harbor
    Mile 584.5 LDB

Mississippi Water Resources Association - Detailed Port and Harbor Information

Navigation - Red River

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Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  Red River Basin Stages (Rivergages.com website)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District assists the U.S. Coast Guard in setting buoys on the Red River from River Mile 7.0 to 212.0. The U.S. Coast Guard is the Federal Agency ultimately tasked with maintaining and setting the Aids to Navigation. The chart below shows the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter's name, river miles covered, home station address, and telephone number.

Cutter Name
River Miles Covered
Home Station Address
Telephone Number
CGC Greenbrier (WLR 75501)
7.0-43.8
440 L.E. Berry Rd., Natchez, MS 39120
601-446-5104
ANT Colfax
43.8-212.0

Colfax, LA

318-542-1435


Page last updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NOTICE:LINDY C. BOGGS LOCK AND DAM (LOCK AND DAM #1) - MILE 40.0 ON THE RED RIVER, IS CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR REPAIRS TO THE DOWNSTREAM MITER GATE AND WILL REMAIN CLOSED FOR APPROXIMATELY TWO WEEKS.

Stages and Flow

Lock River Mile Normal Pool Maximum Stage  Lock Lock
    Stage for Lock Operation Dimensions (LxW) Status
    Headwater Tailwater    
Lock #1/L.C. Boggs 43.8 40.0 58.0 705 ft x 84 ft Open
           
           
Lock #2/J.H. Overton 74.5 64.0 72.5 705 ft x 84 ft Open
           
           
Lock #3 116.5 95.0 90.5 705 ft x 84 ft Open
           
           
Lock #4/R.B. Long 168.5 120.0 119.0 705 ft x 84 ft Open
           
           
Lock #5/J.D. Waggonner 200.0 145.0 138.5 705 ft x 84 ft Open
           

All stages are measured in feet NGVD

Headwater (HW) is the stage upstream of the lock.

Tailwater (TW) is the stage downstream of the lock

Five Day Forecast

To view the latest stages and the five day forecast of the Red River stages and flows click the following link:

FIVE DAY FORECAST



Current Projects

  • Authorized project dimensions on the Red River Waterway are 9 foot by 200 foot. The waterway is maintained to allow a 9 foot draft vessel passage from Mile 0 to Mile 212. 
  • Dredge Butcher is currently dredging at mile 36.


U.S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Colfax Sailing Schedule:

  • No schedule is available at this time.

Any questions regarding the U.S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Colfax can be submitted to BMC Waring at: Richard.B.Waring@uscg.mil or 318-542-1435.



NO NAVIGATION BULLETINS ON THE RED RIVER HAVE BEEN ISSUED THIS YEAR

Union Pacific Railroad Bridge, Mile 90.1

Office: 318-484-4054

Tender: 318-443-8351

Four Hour Notice Required

 

Jackson Street Bridge, Mile 88.6

Office: (504) 589-2965

Eight Hour Notice is Required

Lindy C. Boggs Lock and Dam
(L&D #1)
Mile 43.8
Maximum Tailwater Stage For Lock Operation: 58.0 Ft. NGVD

Communications (VHF):  MB 12/16
(318) 253-8922
Lockmaster:  Bobby Coco



John H. Overton Lock and Dam
(L&D #2)
Mile 74.5
Maximum Tailwater Stage For Lock Operation: 72.5 Ft. NGVD
Communications (VHF):  MB 12/16
(318) 443-9625
Lockmaster:  Richard Daigrepont



Lock and Dam #3
Mile 116.5
Maximum Tailwater Stage For Lock Operation: 90.5 Ft. NGVD
Communications (VHF):  MB 12/16
(318) 627-2944
Lockmaster:  Jimmy Hayes



Russell B. Long Lock and Dam
(L&D #4)
Mile 168.5
Maximum Tailwater Stage For Lock Operation: 119.0 Ft. NGVD
Communications (VHF):  MB 12/16
(318) 932-6960
Lockmaster:  David Fletcher



Joe D. Waggonner, Jr. Lock and Dam
(L&D #5)
Mile 200.0
Maximum Tailwater Stage For Lock Operation: 138.5 Ft. NGVD
Communications (VHF):  MB 12/16
(318) 797-9519
Lockmaster:  Melton Gregory

Navigation - Ouachita/Black Waterway

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Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  Ouachita River Basin Stages (Rivergages.com website)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District assists the U.S. Coast Guard in setting buoys on the Ouachita/Black River from River Mile 0.0 to 332.0. The U.S. Coast Guard is the Federal Agency ultimately tasked with maintaining and setting the Aids to Navigation. The chart below shows the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter's name, river miles covered, home station address, and telephone number.

Cutter Name
River Miles Covered
Home Station Address
Telephone Number
CGC Greenbrier (WLR 75501)
0.0-332.0
440 L.E. Berry Rd., Natchez, MS 39120
601-446-5104
NO NAVIGATION BULLETINS ON THE OUACHITA/BLACK WATERWAY HAVE BEEN ISSUED THIS YEAR

Jonesville Lock and Dam
Mile 25.0
Communications (VHF): MB 16/6
318-339-7839
Lockmaster: Charlie Dozier



Columbia Lock and Dam
Mile 117.0
Communications (VHF): MB 16/6
318-649-2049
Lockmaster: Billy Mitchell



Felsenthal Lock and Dam
Mile 226.9
Communications (VHF): MB 16/6
870-943-2307
Lockmaster: Larry Dawson



H.K. Thatcher Lock and Dam
Mile 281.9
Communications (VHF): MB 7
870-748-2265
Lockmaster: Garland Temple

Monroe Louisville Street Bridge, Mile 167.6

For Bridge Openings: 318-343-2811

Two Hour Notice Required

Kansas City Southern Railway, Mile 167.1

For Bridge Openings: 318-343-2811

Two Hour Notice Required

Endom Bridge, Mile 166.9

For Bridge Openings: 318-343-2811

Two Hour Notice Required

 

Missouri Pacific Railroad Bridge, Mile 114.4

For Bridge Openings: 318-343-2811 or 318-649-5898

Two Hour Notice Required

Harrisonburg Bridge, Mile 57.5

n/a

Navigation - West Pearl River Project

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Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  Pearl River Basin Stages (Rivergages.com website)
NO NAVIGATION BULLETINS ON THE WEST PEARL RIVER HAVE BEEN ISSUED THIS YEAR
Lock 1
Lock 1 is located at Mile 29.7 of the West Pearl in St. Tammany Parish. Constructed with steel sheet piling walls. Built in February 1949. 65' x 310'. Upper pool elevation: 30.0. Lower pool elevation: 3.3.

 

 Lock 2

Lock 2 is located at Mile 40.8 of the West Pearl. Built in February 1950. Constructed with steel sheet piling walls. 65' x 310'. Upper pool elevation: 45.0. Lower pool elevation: 30.0.

 

Lock 3

Lock 3 is located at Mile 43.9 of the West Pearl in St. Tammany Parish. Constructed with steel sheet piling walls. Built in May 1950. 65' x 310'. Upper pool elevation: 56.0. Lower pool elevation: 45.0.

Bogue Chitto Sill

The purpose of Bogue Chitto Sill is to maintain pool within the canal, built in 1956. River Mile 44.0, width-250'. Top of sill elevation: 45.0.

 

Pools Bluff

Pools Bluff sill is located at Mile 48.7 of the West Pearl. Its purpose is to maintain pool elevation of 56.0 within the canal for navigation. Built in 1956.

The West Pearl River Navigation Project was authorized in 1935 by the River and Harbor Act. The project consists of 58 miles of waterway from the mouth of the West Pearl River to the mouth of Bogalusa Creek at Bogalusa, Louisiana, including 20.8 miles of excavated canal. Within the 20.8 miles of the lateral canal there are 3 locks, 3 sills (one for each lock pool) and 4 boat ramps. Each lock is 65 feet in width by 310 feet in length. Lock 1 is located at Mile 29.7, Lock 2 is located at Mile 40.8, and Lock 3 is located at Mile 43.9. Pool's Bluff sill is located at Mile 48.7, Bogue Chitto Sill is located at Mile 44.0 and the spillway is located at Mile 33.0.

West Pearl River Navigation Project Status

In 1995, the West Pearl River Navigation Project was placed in a caretaker status. The Corps was directed by Congress to use limited funds to maintain the Project in this status. Contact the Tommy Hengst, Chief of River Operations for more info. (601-631-5600)