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Title: Ship navigation simulation study, southern branch of the Elizabeth River, Gilmerton and Interstate 64 bridges, Norfolk, Virginia
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Norfolk District.
Webb, Dennis W.
Keywords: Elizabeth River, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Gilmerton Bridges
Ship navigation
Computer simulation
River channels
Channel improvment
Publisher: Hydraulics Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical report (U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station) ; HL-95-17.
Description: This Digital Resource was created from scans of the Print Resource
Technical Report
Abstract: The Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River is located in Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake, VA. The existing 125-ft-span Gilmerton Bridges are positioned in the Southern Branch just south of an approximately 90-degree bend in the river. Therefore, inbound (southbound) vessels have very little room to line up with the bridges' fender system. Outbound ships have to turn to port immediately after passing through the bridge span or risk hitting a ship docked at a facility immediately north of the bridges. Vessels are often docked on the eastern side of the river, upstream and downstream of the bridges. This further reduces the area available for the the mariner to maneuver his vessel. The I-64 Bridge crosses a straight reach of the channel, but the bridge supports are not aligned with the channel and the bridge itself is at an angle of 59 degrees, not perpendicular, to the channel alignment. In addition, the navigation opening is not in the center of the river; therefore, tug captains expenence difficulties lining up their vessel wtth the center of the bndge span. There are no ranges marking the center line of the channel in this area. Vessels passing through the bridges include ships and oceangoing, integrated tug/barge units. At the present, ship traffic terminates at Newton Creek Turning Basin. The integrated tug/barges travel south of the I-64 Bridge to call at the Huntsman Chemical Dock. Both ships and barges are loaded for the inbound transit. Outbound barges are empty and outbound ships are light-loaded or in ballast. The outbound condition is regarded as the most difficult to navigate because the increased freeboard is subjected to wind. Winds in the area are predominantly from the northeast and northwest. The outbound runs pose an additional problem for the integrated tug/barge units because empty barges extend well past the waterline and block the view from the tug's pilothouse. The navigation study was conducted using the U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station Hydraulic Laboratory's ship/tow simulator facility. The objectives of the study were to (a.) Evaluate the effects of extending the 40-ft-channel depth improvement to the Newton Creek Turning Basin. (b.) Evaluate the 40-ft-channel deepening plan with widening as recommended by the 1989 study, and evaluate the effects of two proposed dock facilities on this channel plan. Each of these facilities will require removal of a channel marker. (c.) Evaluate modifications of the Milldam Creek Turning Basin, with consideration to reducing impacts on wetlands and real estate requirements. (d.) Evaluate navigation conditions for both ship and barge traffic through the existing 125-ft-wide Gilmerton Bridges and recommend a bridge span width for future construction. (e.) Evaluate navigation conditions for barge traffic only through the existing 125-ft-wide I-64 Bridge and recommend a bridge span width for future construction. NOTE: This file is large. Please allow your browser several minutes to download the file.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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