Source: International Dredging Review
Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel owns the oldest operating Ellicott® dredge that the company has been able to locate. Built in 1925, the dredge "ALABAMA" has a 26-inch suction/24-inch discharge pipe and a digging depth of 65 feet.
Peter Bowe announced a contest to find the oldest dredge built by the company. More than one hundred responses came in from all over the world, and the "ALABAMA" was the oldest by eight years.
The second and third oldest dredges are the "ORION", built in 1933 and owned by the United States Navy, and the "MINDI", built in 1941 and owned by the Panama Canal Commission. The Alabama State Dock Commission bought the "ALABAMA" from Ellicott® in 1925 for $280,000, a vessel of welded and riveted steel, powered by steam engines. The "ALABAMA" has since been re-powered with two 1600 HP Fairbanks Morse Model 38D-8 1/8 ten-cylinder opposed-piston diesel engines.
Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel, based in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, purchased the dredge in 1989, and went right to work on the first phase of the Yellow Bend Slack Water Port on the Mississippi near Arkansas City, Arkansas. In the project the dredge moved 1.1 million cubic yards of sand and clay, pumping up to 3,500 feet.
Another project for the "ALABAMA" was the Helena slack water harbor first phase, removing approximately 1.3 million cubic yards of clay, pumping up to 6000 feet.
Pine Bluff has since used the "ALABAMA" on several Corps of Engineers' projects, including the Vicksburg Harbor maintenance.
Jack Cates, general manager of Pine Bluff, reported, "To date we have 9,906 hours of actual pumping logged on the "ALABAMA", frequently digging 24 hours a day, seven days a week without any lost time due to mechanical failure. This is a testament to the "ALABAMA's" soundness and design after over 70 years of operation."
Pine Bluff also owns the 24-inch, 4900 HP Ellicott® dredge "MARION" built in 1983.
"These dredges are examples of Ellicott® quality: their owners have earned back their investment many, many times over." Said Peter Bowe: "We don't promise 70 years of service with every dredge, but keep in mind that dredges bought from us in 1997 may still be operating reliably in the year 2064, only 70 years from now", he said. Ellicott® itself is over 110 years old and still keeps records on all the dredges it has built.
Reprinted from International Dredging Review