A v o n d a l e Delivers Hydraulic Dredge I l l i n o i s - Flagship Of Great Lakes Dredge And Dock Fleet

On March 17, 1977, Avondale Shipyards, Inc. and the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company christened the new dredge Illinois at the Poydras Street Wharf in New Orleans, La.

The Illinois is a 27-inch hydraulic dredge classed by the American Bureau of Shipping and certified by the United States Coast Guard. It was built for Western Quarries and Construction Company.

Sponsor of the dredge Illinois was Mrs.

Ruth E. Downs, wife of the president of Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company.

Richard Brunner, Avondale executive vice president, Engineering and Contract Services, greeted the guests and spoke at the commissioning. Also at the bottle-breaking were R.H. Roth, Great Lakes' chief mechanical engineer, and R.L. Jackson, Great Lakes' vice president and Southern Division manager.

The vessel has a gross tonnage of 1,417.23 and a net tonnage of 1,417. The hull is of welded steel construction, 220 feet in length by 56 feet wide by 12 feet 6 inches deep.

The dredging ladder is 100 feeet long with design provisions for a 20-foot extension for a maximum length of 120 feet, and is supported by hull trunnions and an "A" frame and gallows frame. Two 600-horsepower cutter motors, shafting, bearings, cutter, 34- inch suction pipe and a 1,200-horsepower electric-driven submersible dredge pump are mounted on the ladder. The ladder is raised and lowered by an electric-driven ladder hoist winch with a 375-horsepower motor.

The main dredge pump is 7,200 horsepower at 303 rpm and is driven by two 3,600- bhp diesel engines. The discharge pipe is 27-inch.

Dredging position is achieved and maintained by using two 85-foot spuds with hoists or underwater fairlead with wires, anchor, and hoists aft, and using two anchor booms with wires, anchors, and swing/anchor hoists forward. Control of the dredge position and ladder dredging depth is from the Lever Room Control Console.

A 2,400-kw diesel generator set furnishes the main electrical power. Control of the main pump and generator diesel engines and monitoring of the operation of all main and auxiliary machinery is from the Engine Room Control Console.

Commissioning of the hydraulic dredge Illinois marks another important event in the 87-year history of Great Lakes. She takes her place as the flagship of the largest dredge fleet flying the Stars and Stripes.

This fleet, consisting of 19 dredges (hydraulic, clamshell and dipper), 12 tugs, 38 dump barges, 4 drill boats and over 150 support vessels, has a replacement value in excess of $200 million.

As its name suggests, the company was founded on the Great Lakes. Its corporate headquarters is still maintained in Chicago, 111., but the "bull's-eye" insignia is a familiar sight to ports and waterways of the world.

Argentina, Venezuela, Panama, Trinidad, The Netherlands Antilles, San Salvador, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Dubai are all countries with navigational improvements by Great Lakes.

Although primarily a dredging contractor, Great Lakes is also active in the many types of marine construction. Subaqueous rock blasting and pipelines, breakwaters, land reclamation, docks, pile driving and bridge substructures are also Great Lakes undertakings.

The company's revenues in the last decade approach one-half billion dollars. Its dividend record to its approximately 4,000 shareholders is unbroken since Great Lakes went public in 1920. It has never failed to complete a project, and maintains excellent financial and bonding relationships with the country's major banks and insurance companies companies.

Great Lakes' stock is traded on the New York and Midwest Stock Exchanges.

In addition to its corporate headquarters in Chicago, the company maintains division and area offices in Union, N.J., Staten Island, N.Y., Towson, Md., Tampa, Fla., New Orleans and Morgan City, La., Oakland, Calif., Cleveland, Ohio, and Chicago. A permanent staff of over 200 is divided between these locations.

Hourly employees bring the total to over 2,000 men and women.

The dredge Illinois typifies the company's philosophy that the best equipment, operated by the best personnel does the best work. Great Lakes is constantly designing and building new, efficient equipment and making improvements on existing plant. In the 1973-77 period alone, it will have invested over $40 million in capital improvements.

Other stories from May 1977 issue


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