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Corps' Mat Sinking Unit working overtime on lowered river

MISSISSIPPI RIVER — The Vicksburg District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Mat Sinking Unit (MSU) reports it is currently working on the Mississippi River near Mayersville on river mile 495.

Thus far this season the MSU has placed 167,391 squares or approximately 384 acres of articulated concrete mats on the banks of the Mississippi River. During this longer, six months, revetment season the goal is to place 442,786 squares covering approximately 1,018 acres.

The next location for the MSU is mile 453 near Milliken, La.

The MSU is the only one of its kind in the world and performs one of the most important jobs in the Corps’ river stabilization program. The MSU consists of the Motor Vessel Benyaurd with the quarter boats, the Motor Vessel William James with the mat sinking plant and the Motor Vessel Harrison, which all work together to distribute articulated concrete mat squares on the banks of waterways. These concrete mats assist with the prevention of erosion and to protect submerged riverbanks.

The scope of work encompasses three Corps’ districts, seven states, and multiple watersheds, and utilizes the latest technology in river engineering and operations.

This revetment season will extend through February 2013 and include a larger than normal program that include critical repairs to sites damaged as a result of the 2011 historic flood, according to the Corps.

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