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Port of New Orleans Christens New 24-Inch Dredge Edward S. Ned Reed

The Port of New Orleans christened its new dredge, the Edward S. “Ned” Reed on August 27.

The dredge is named for the port’s former executive director, who took the step of purchasing a dredge to maintain the berths, rather than relying on contracts to keep the berths at depth, which had been the policy since the port’s inception. It replaces the dredge A. Robert Bleakley, a 20-inch cutterhead dredge that had been operating since 1976.

Mr. Reed’s wife Patricia Karst Reed broke the bottle over the railing, flanked by her grandchildren and a line of port officials, including port president and CEO Gary LaGrange.

The new 24-inch cutter suction dredge was built by Dredging Supply Company. The contract was signed on June 26, 2008, and required a 100-foot ladder allowing a dredging depth of 60 feet, diesel/electric power, and ability to work in currents up to eight knots.

The dredge is designed for a small crew operation, with the operational controls located in the lever room. The climate-controlled lever room is equipped with an ergonomic operator’s chair, a PLC to control various dredge functions, and a color HMI (Human Machine Interface) or touch-screen.

DSC took many safety requirements into consideration per the port’s specifications. The dredge is supplied with handrails, kick guards, and remotely-mounted grease fittings in safe locations, so crewmembers are not exposed to rotating equipment during servicing. For added protection, the dredge is furnished with fire extinguishers, and a fire fighting system with a dedicated fire pump and two fire stations was installed. Fire sensing heat detectors are positioned above all diesel engines, power equipment, and hydraulic power packages.
There are U.S. Department of Homeland Security cameras and monitors displaying views of the entire vessel, said Bob Wetta, DSC president.

Total cost of the dredge was $7.8 million, funded by Louisiana Port Priority Funds and Port of New Orleans Capital Improvement Funds.

Ned Reed began with the port in 1961 as assistant to the port director and rose through the ranks to serve as executive director and general manager from 1970 until 1985. During his tenure, Reed pushed for the port to buy and operate its own dredge, and was responsible for the purchase of the Bleakley in 1976. During his tenure with the port, he also served as chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities, and he served on the board of the International Association of Ports and Harbors. He and his wife Patricia had four sons and had been married 54 years when he died last April.

Edward Angelette is captain of the new dredge.

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