A Simulation Study of the Navigability of the Main Ship Channel in Mobile Harbor,
NATIONAL MARITIME RESEARCH CENTER KINGS POINT NY COMPUTER AIDED OPERATIONS RESEARCH FACILITY
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The Port of Mobile is one of the major US coal ports. Transit into and out of the port by large vessels is made possible by an approximately 30-nm-long ship channel extending from the Gulf of Mexico, through Mobile Bay, and into the Mobile River see Figure 1. At present, the controlling channel depth is 40 ft and the channel bottom width is 400 ft throughout most of the channels length. This controlling depth prohibits many deeper draft vessels of the 50,000 plus DWT class from loading to full capacity. The required of the light loading of larger vessels makes the movement of cargo more expensive, thus restricting the use of the port by these vessels and lowering the ports efficiency. In response to this problem, the Mobile District of the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Alabama State Docks Department have proposed a harbor design plan that would enable the Port of Mobile to better accommodate deep-draft bulk carriers and better utilize their deadweight capacity. The three central elements of the plan include 1 deepening of the ship channel from 40 to 55 ft, 2 construction of a turning basin across from the main coal terminal at McDuffie Island, and 3 construction of an anchorage area south of the turning basin.
- Civil Engineering