Each year the Louisville District dredges approximately a million cubic yards of silt and sediment from more than 10 sites along the Ohio River to ensure safe navigation for the towing industry.
On June 28, Louisville District Commander Col. Eric Crispino went aboard the Dredge Bill Holman in Louisville, Kentucky, to see first-hand how safety plays a role in dredging operations on the Ohio River.
Dredging operations are conducted 24 hours per day, seven days per week, but for crews running the Dredge Bill Holman, safety must always take priority.
Mike Dunn, dredge superintendent, Luhr Bros., Inc., who has been dredging this stretch of the Ohio River for nearly 30 years says his crew has to put safety first. This means a safety officer is on shift 24 hours a day.
Col. Crispino applauded leadership for their oversight procedures and best practices to keep the crew safe.
“You have got to have a safe environment for the team and that requires your constant work and attention to guard against complacency,” said Crispino when speaking to the team dredging below the McAlpine Locks and Dam. “It’s dangerous work you all are doing out here, but you clearly have a good safety record so keep it up and don’t become complacent.”
Maintenance dredging must be performed annually to keep the navigation channel open for commercial river traffic. Throughout the summer of 2021, channel maintenance dredging has been performed around McAlpine, Cannelton, Newburgh, and John T. Myers locks and dams in addition to the Evansville Bend at Ohio River Mile 792 and the mouth of the Wabash River near Ohio River Mile 848.