In the summer of 2009, Northrop Grumman’s Avondale Shipyard had just finished building USS New York — a San Antonio-class amphibious transport ship with a bow built with steel salvaged from the World Trade Center towers. After five years of painstaking construction at the shipyard, the nearly $1 billion warship was finished and ready for sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico.
A major obstacle lay it her path out to sea however…New Orleans’ Huey P. Long Bridge, something the shipbuilders, and the ship’s captain, Cmdr. Jones, were seriously concerned about.
NOAA offered a solution, their Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®).
This system measures and distributes current and predicted water levels, currents, salinity, and weather parameters (e.g., winds, atmospheric pressure, and air and water temperatures) that mariners need to navigate busy ports, and in this case, pass safely under a bridge.
In this case, with only 2.1 feet to spare.