Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Excavator on Roen barge.
Detroit Harbor, Washington Island -

The barge and barge crew represent Roen Salvage.  The yellow excavator belongs to Mike Kahr of Death's Door Marine.  The excavator operator is Island contractor Tom Jordan.  It's a team effort to beat the weather clock.

In a process that often seems laborious but straightforward, one surprise was encountered this morning.  Rather than scraping against a ledge of stone, or  stones hard-packed in clay, the excavator has been bringing up buckets of loose cobblestones. This the sort of material you'd expect to find along an old beach line, maybe when the lake level was significantly shallower than it is today.  Occasional sharp-cornered, large rocks and clay are also present.

Switching to this machine for the time being hasn't appreciably slowed the dredging process much, but a shorter reach means the barge as work platform has to be frequently repositioned, and some time is lost then.  Jordan digs three full buckets in about the same time as it took to get one larger bucket with the crane.  But, once softer material is encountered again, the crane with clamshell will be put back in service.  

The material barge should be loaded before dark this afternoon, when unloading and trucking begin once again.    -  Dick Purinton

No comments: