The Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, held a christening ceremony for the derrick boat Kolber at the Corps' Ohio Areas Office on Oct. 24.

The new 160'x60'x12' derrick boat features a SeaTrax series 60 S9302 crane. Its design and construction were contracted by the Corps of Engineers Marine Design Center, Philadelphia.

The barge was designed by TAI Engineers, New Orleans, and constructed by Metal Trades Inc., Hollywood, S.C.

The Kolber’s crane can place armor stone weighing up to 20-ton at a radius of 90' — which is equivalent to lifting 10 cars all at once. Corps personnel call this the duty cycle capacity.

The crane will be used to move the mitre gates of the Black Rock Lock in Buffalo and can lift 102 tons at a radius of 70' — equivalent to lifting 51 cars at once. That's called the lift crane capacity.

The Kolber 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 Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The Kolber is expected to serve as the Buffalo District floating crane for the next 40 years.

The Kolber’s primary 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 original Black Rock Lock was built for the Erie Canal in 1833. Today’s lock was constructed by the Corps of Engineers from 1908-1913.

The derrick boat Kolber will continue the long tradition of maritime service provided by the Corps' Buffalo District, in which federal government employees have operated vessels on the Great Lakes since the 1830s.