Derrickboat Kolber joins USACE Buffalo District’s Floating Plant fleet

In a ceremony led by USACE Buffalo District Deputy District Commander Maj. Lyle Milliman and Deputy District Engineer Dave Romano, held at the Buffalo District’s Ohio Area Office in Cleveland yesterday, Ohio, the Derrickboat Kolber was officially christened.


“This boat you see before you 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,” said Maj. Lyle Milliman.

“This derrickboat will replace the Derrickboat McCauley, which was transferred new to the Buffalo District at no cost from the Louisville District back in 1948. The original crane on the Derrickboat McCauley was removed in 2018 but has continued in service since then while carrying a rented crawler crane. The rental crane has been returned, but the McCauley won’t quite be decommissioned just yet. We plan to use it as an equipment, materials, and shop barge.”

USACE photo

Joining the ceremony was the family of the Jonathan Kolber who the derrickboat was named after.

Jonathan E. Kolber’s 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, USACE said.

He was employed by the Buffalo District as a Geotechnical Engineer.

An expert in concrete applications and geotechnical design, Jon 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.