Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company is building a new mechanical dredge. The Dredge New York is a Liebherr Model P996 backhoe excavator with a 13 cubic meter (17 cubic yard) hard material bucket and 17 cubic meter (22.2 cubic yard) soft material bucket.
The excavator was built by Liebherr near Strasbourg France and shipped through Rotterdam and the St. Lawrence Seaway to Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin at the end of November. The excavator has 3000 installed horsepower and there are two 300 kW units in the hull and one emergency 20 kW generator.
The barge is 61 x 17.5 by 4.6 meters (200 x 57.5 x 15 feet).
The excavator has an IHC automation package and the plans are to completely automate the operation for digging in soft soils said Steve Becker chief mechanical engineer for Great Lakes. Digging hard material will remain a manual operation.
The goal is to complete the dredge by February ready to begin dredging in the spring of 1999 said Becker.
The loss of the clamshell dredge Chicago created a void in the company’s dredging capability he said. Though this new dredge is only half the machine that the Chicago was it is well suited for many new projects planned for the U.S. East Coast he said.