Southwest Shipyard to build new crane barge for USACE

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District in concert with the Philadelphia District and the Marine Design Center recently awarded a $11.4 million contract to Southwest Shipyard LP of Houston, Texas, for 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 crane barge are all part of the awarded contract. Southwest Shipyards is a small business and operates four shipyards along the Texas Gulf Coast. Southwest Shipyards intends to construct the new crane barge at their Brady Island shipyard with delivery expected in Fall of 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 U.S. 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.