GALVESTON, Texas (Feb. 26, 2013) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, awarded a task order contract in the amount of $70,047 to J.M. Davidson Inc., for mooring buoy installation and repair work at the Brazos River Floodgates along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in Freeport, Texas.
Mooring buoys, or cylindrical floatation structures, are anchored into the channel bottom of the waterway and spaced at regular intervals on each bank to provide mooring points for barges and commercial vessels.
“Work will include reinstalling six buoys and repairing one buoy along the GIWW,” said Eric Russek, USACE Galveston District Project Operations Branch civil engineer. “These mooring buoys are provided on each bank for upbound and downbound commercial navigation traffic traversing the east and west gates and the Brazos River to ensure a safe and expeditious waterway for all users.”
According to Russek, due to strong currents at the intersection of the GIWW and the Brazos River, commercial tows that are made up of multiple barges transit through the gates and across the Brazos one barge at a time while the other barges wait (secured to mooring buoys on each side of the gates) to transit.
“Damaged or missing buoys impact the commercial towing industry by delaying or increasing transit time of various products and commodities,” said Russek. “When buoys are unavailable, barges are sometimes doubled-up on mooring buoys which reduces the safe passing distance between passing tows and ‘parked’ barges.”
Work is expected to begin in March 2013.
The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. The district is directly responsible for maintaining more than 1,000 miles of channel, including 270 miles of deep draft and 750 miles of shallow draft as well as the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates.
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