The Vicksburg Engineer District welcomed the dredge Jadwin and crew home to the Vicksburg, Miss., Harbor on November 18, just in time for the holidays.
The dredge and crew of around 50 set out May 3, 2021, for their annual season of dredging on the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers as well on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
“The dredge Jadwin crew’s job is so very important, and we are thankful everyone made it home safely,” said Col. Robert Hilliard, Vicksburg District commander. “The crew is to be commended for their dedication to the mission of keeping our nation’s waterway on the lower Mississippi navigable.”
Approximately 6.2 million cubic yards were dredged during the six-month long season, which typically begins as soon as the water rise is over in April and ends sometime in November. During the off season, the dustpan dredge will undergo critical repairs and routine maintenance to prepare for next year’s dredging season.
Nearly the size of a football field, the 88-year-old dredge is instrumental in ensuring that river barge traffic has a clear a path to its next destination to deliver and receive goods.
The Jadwin is a 274-foot, 2,400-hp. dustpan dredge capable of dredging as deep as 62 feet. The Jadwin was built at the Marietta Manufacturing Company, in Point Pleasant, W.Va., on the Ohio River, where she was launched on October 30, 1933. The dredge was converted from steam to diesel electric in 1985.
Dustpan dredges are unique to the Mississippi River and work to maintain a navigable channel using a large suction head with high velocity water jets that loosen the silt and sand materials on the river bed and pump the material through a floating pipeline to be deposited outside the navigation channel.
There are only four dustpan dredges total in the United States, and three of those, the Jadwin, Potter, and Hurley, belong to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The fourth dredge is owned and operated by a private contractor.
The Vicksburg District covers a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds nine major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The Vicksburg District employs approximately 1,100 people.