Vol II, Issue 3  March 2006

Towboat Analysis Finds Seasonality Is Prevalent and Important in the Upper Mississippi River and Affects Other Rivers
NETS researchers Min Wook Kang and Paul Schonfeld, PhD of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park have published an analysis of towboat operations on the Upper Mississippi River (UMR). The objective of the analysis was to understand characteristics of the UMR towboat operation and provide practical information about towboat use in the study area for the UMR navigation system simulation (NaSS) model. The study looked for answers to the questions: (1) When are the peak and off-peak seasons for the UMR towboat operation? (2) What fractions of the towboats that normally operate on the UMR in summers continue to operate during in winters? (3) Where else (if anywhere) do they go? (4) What is the impact of the UMR seasonality on the other river systems?

As shown in previous studies, seasonality is prevalent and important in the UMR. This study demonstrates the affects on other rivers in the U.S. inland waterway system.  The UMR traffic is unsteady due to freezing in winter as well as some seasonality in demand for transporting commodities. The unique towboats which serve most peak-period towboat lockages of the UMR system operate largely in between the UMR, Illinois, and Ohio systems during the UMR off-peak. No significant seasonal impact of the UMR was observed outside of the UMR, Illinois, and Ohio systems.  

Fact Sheet | Paper (pdf, 638KB)

Keith Hofseth, Buddy Langdon, and Mark Lisney of NETS Recognized at Inland Waterways Navigational Conference
The Great Lakes and Ohio River Division (LRD) recognized members of the NETS team at the Inland Waterways Navigational Conference in Memphis, Tennessee March 14th.  The LRD Lock Maintenance team, which included Keith Hofseth, Buddy Langdon, and Mark Lisney of NETS, were thanked for their outstanding efforts in developing a lock maintenance standard which will shift lock maintenance paradigms from a District perspective to a regional perspective.  The four Ohio River Basin Districts will use this standard to prioritize major maintenance activities in the Ohio River Basin without regard to District boundaries.  The main contribution made by NETS was a spreadsheet method, developed by Mark Lisney, that combines risk of failure, severity of the failure impact, and economic impact measures, to rank the need for maintenance across 53 locks in the ORB.

Navigation Locks and Dams Maintenance Standard, with Appendices A, B 
Navigation Locks and Dams Maintenance Standard, Appendix C

HarborSym Training Classes Held in Mobile
HarborSym training classes, hosted by Kenneth Claseman, Deputy Director of the Corps Deep Draft Navigation Planning Center of Expertise, were held at the Mobile District on March 14-15 and March 16-17, 2006. A total of 18 students representing 10 districts, two divisions and two labs received training. This training represents the first joint effort between the NETS research program and the DDN-PCX to field the tools developed in the NETS program to the PCX, and provide training through the PCX to the field. The training was well received and HarborSym is being considered for a number of upcoming district studies.

March 14-15 class picture | March 16-17 class picture


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Navigation Economic Technologies Program, US Army Corps of Engineers