Buffalo Engineer district christens new derrick boat

Written by Marine Log Staff
derrick boat

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District has a new vessel in its floating plant lineup, the derrick boat Kolber. [USACE photo by Andre’ M. Hampton]

The Buffalo Engineer District held a christening ceremony Monday for its new derrick boat, the Kolber.

The vessel is 160 feet long, has a beam of 60 feet and a depth of 12 feet. Its design and construction were contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Marine Design Center, with the barge being designed by TAI Engineers of New Orleans, La., and construction by Metal Trades Inc., of Hollywood, S.C.

The Kolber’s SeaTrax series 60 Model S9302 crane can place armor stone weighing up to 20-ton at a radius of 90 feet—equivalent to lifting 10 cars all at once. The crane will be used to move the miter gates of the Black Rock Lock in Buffalo and can lift 102 tons at a radius of 70 feet—equivalent to lifting 51 cars at once.

The derrick barge 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. Itsprimary 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.

The new derrick boat was christened the Kolber in honor of Jonathan E. Kolber.

Kolber 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.

“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,” says the Buffalo District.

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