Posted on October 20, 2022
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District in concert with the Philadelphia District and the Corps’ Marine Design Center have awarded Southwest Shipyard LP of Houston a $11.4 million contractfor a new crane barge on the St. Marys River.
“The new crane barge will perform critical lock and hydropower facility maintenance at the Soo Project Office (Soo Locks),” said Justin Proulx, Chief of the St. Marys River Section. “Additionally, the new vessel will support channel maintenance and will be ready to respond to critical maritime incidents on the St Marys River, such as vessel groundings and anchor drags.”
The final design, construction, testing and delivery of the Detroit District’s new asset are all part of the awarded contract. Southwest Shipyards is a small business and operates four shipyards along the Texas Gulf Coast. It intends to construct the new barge at its Brady Island shipyard with delivery expected in fall 2024.
New crane barge is set for delivery in fall 2024
The new crane barge will be 150 feet in length, have a beam of 50 feet, and a 10-foot molded depth, supporting a 220 ton lattice boom crawler crane. The new crane barge naming process will occur over the next few months.
The new crane barge will replace the daily functions of the Soo Project Office’s Crane Barge Harvey, constructed in 1961, serving the Soo Locks and St. Marys River for over 60 years. The new crane barge will be slightly larger and is designed to meet the facility maintenance needs, to include the New Lock at the Soo, currently under construction.
The Detroit District has marine fleets stationed at Detroit, Sault Sainte Marie, Mich. and Duluth, Minn. The district’s fleet engages in maintenance and repair of channels, harbors and navigation structures throughout the Great Lakes with five floating plant and tugboat combinations.
The district maintains a navigation system of 81 harbors including the channels joining lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie.