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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to host Christening Ceremony for Derrickboat Kolber

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District has a new vessel in the lineup of the Floating Plant that will be replacing the reliable Derrickboat McCauley, October 16, 2022. A christening ceremony will be held in Cleveland, Ohio formally naming the new vessel, the Derrickboat Kolber.

Posted on October 24, 2022

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, invites the public and media to attend a christening ceremony for the Derrickboat Kolber at the USACE Ohio Areas Office, Monday October 24 at 11am. Following the ceremony, public tours of the vessel will be available until 4 p.m.

The Buffalo District Ohio Area Office address is: 1035 E. 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114.

In addition to the tours being offered after the ceremony, our floating plant crewmembers will be available to answer questions about the vessel and provide public tours until 4pm. Closed-toe, flat-surface shoes are required for anyone wishing to tour the vessel.

The new derrickboat is being christened the Kolber in honor of Jonathan E. Kolber. His 35 years’ service to the Nation as a civil engineer is an enduring legacy that has inspired many young people to follow his footsteps into the engineering profession and continues to inspire today’s Army Engineers.  Jon was employed by the Buffalo District as a Geotechnical Engineer. An expert in concrete applications and geotechnical design, he deployed in support of New Orleans I-Wall Evaluations; visual inspections of all Hawaii dams following the Ka Loco Dam collapse; and inspections of thousands of structures damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

This new derrickboat is 160 feet long, has a beam of 60 feet and a depth of 12 feet. The large crane is a SeaTrax series 60 Model S9302. Its design and construction were contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Marine Design Center.  The barge was designed by TAI Engineers of New Orleans, LA, and constructed by Metal Trades, Inc., of Hollywood, SC.

The Kolber’s crane can place armor stone weighing up to 20-ton at a radius of 90 feet – which is equivalent to lifting 10 cars all at once. We call this the Duty Cycle Capacity. The crane will be used to move the mitre gates of the Black Rock Lock in Buffalo and can lift 102 tons at a radius of 70 ft – equivalent to lifting 51 cars at once. We call this the Lift Crane Capacity.

The Kolber will serve as part of the Buffalo District Repair Fleet, whose mission is to provide routine Navigation Operations and Maintenance services to the Black Rock Lock, and 36 federal harbors across Lakes Erie and Ontario.  The Kolber is expected to serve as the Buffalo District floating crane for the next 40 years.

The Kolber’s primary work will be maintenance repairs of the 37 miles of coastal navigation structures (pier, jetties, breakwaters), and removal of obstructions to navigation from the channels.  Additionally, the Kolber will support maintenance work at the Black Rock Lock, including miter gate removal and installation for the replacement projects currently scheduled for the next two winters. A little bit of history – the original Black Rock Lock was built for the Erie Canal in 1833. Today’s lock was constructed by the Corps of Engineers from 1908-1913.

The Derrickboat Kolber will continue the long tradition of maritime service provided by the USACE Buffalo District, in which federal government employees have operated vessels on the Great Lakes since the 1830’s.

For more information about the christening ceremony, please contact Amy J. Gaskill at the Buffalo District Public Affairs office 301-514-3947.

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