New barge on Dale Hollow Lake
By: Amanda Hill Bond
The Tennessee Army Corps of Engineers
launched the new barge on Dale Hollow Lake
August 23rd at the Plankyards boat ramp.
The Plankyards closed around the first of
June for the construction of the new barge.
Ship builders from Virginia constructed large
sections at their facility and then transported
them for construction. Around the first of July,
a crew began working to fabricate the sections
and install the engines.
On Wednesday the barge was launched and
docked on the shoreline where the finalization
of the electrical and mechanical components
can be completed. It is expected to be finished
in mid September.
The previous barge was constructed in the
early 60's and was in much need of replacement
due to the high maintenance costs and
the difficulty of finding parts for repairs. The
new barge weighs 72 tons and is 68 ft. long and
24 ft. wide and was produced with a cost of
$675,000 paid for by federal funds.
The Corps of Engineers uses the barge for
many purposes on Dale Hollow Lake. They
work alongside the TWRA to help with conservation
projects like waterfowl and wildlife
plantings along the shoreline and provide
spawning habits by installing fish attractors.
The barge allows them to haul needed equipment
for the conservation projects and also to
set buoys for lake navigation.
"The annual Eagle Watch was cancelled in
2008 due to the old barge being broken down
and I am so glad that we have something that
is dependable. I am excited to have the new
barge that will serve the needs of the Dale Hollow
Lake operations well into the future," said
Stephen Beason, Corps of Engineers Resource
Manager for Dale Hollow Lake.