A Remedy for a Chronic Dredging Problem
ARMY ENGINEER SCHOOL FORT LEONARD WOOD MO
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The US Army Corps of Engineers USACE recently constructed a set of innovative river training structures in the Upper Mississippi River to remedy a repetitive maintenancedredging problem. Due to the complexity of this reach of river, the problem required the development of a unique solution to meet the objectives of numerous user groups and agencies involved. The reach of river, called Bolters Bar, is located about 45 river miles upstream of St. Louis, Missouri just upstream of the confluence with the Illinois River. It is used heavily by commercial navigation tows and is part of a crucial link between the Upper and Lower Mississippi Rivers. At this location, the river is divided into as many as four separate channels, with one of the densest concentrations of marinas and recreational boats along the entire Mississippi River. In the summer months, thousands of recreational boaters regularly use these channels. USACE is responsible for maintaining a navigable channel at least 9 feet deep by 300 feet wide on the Upper Mississippi River, through the use of river training structures, dredging operations, and water-level management at the locks and dams. This reach of river had required dredging usually once or twice a year due to depths that did not meet the minimum requirements. In most years, dredging was needed during the fall harvest the busiest period for shipping agricultural products down the Mississippi River for export. During crucial shipping periods, groundings could close the river down for days for cleanup.
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology
- Civil Engineering