The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed an extended dredging season and is bringing equipment in for seasonal maintenance and leave for the crew. The Corps Dredges Hurley and Potter completed dredging operations on the Middle Mississippi last week.
The dustpan dredges have been operating well beyond the normal dredge season which usually ends in early December. The Potter mobilized the first week of July and has worked throughout the 300 miles of Mississippi River in St. Louis District’s area of responsibility. The Hurley came up river from the Corps’ Memphis District in December and has been dredging between Thebes and Chester Ill. and also supported the rock removal efforts at Thebes by removing sand that had accumulated over the rock pinnacles.
As dustpan dredges they remove sediment to form the Congressionally-mandated channel depth and width. USACE dredged more than 8 million cubic yards of sediment along the Middle Mississippi River in the last six months – more than twice the amount dredged during an average non-drought year. And yet this was only half the amount dredged during the drought of 1988-89 as a result of river engineering work.