Corps signs five-year lease for Great Lakes tug


April 26, 2022

The Don Raul, a 74ft, 2,800hp tug built by the Great Lakes Shipyard in 2008, at work on the water. On April 20, the Buffalo District Corps of Engineers awarded an $8.4 million contract to Cleveland-based Great Lakes Towing to lease the tug that will be part of its Great Lakes repair fleet. (Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Towing)

Last week, the Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, awarded an $8.4 million contract to Cleveland Great Lakes Towing for the five-year lease of the tug Don Raul serve on the Great Lakes.

The boat will be used primarily on Lake Erie between Buffalo, NY, and Toledo, Ohio, but can serve as far as Massena, NY, towing the Buffalo District repair fleet. The fleet is one of three fleets strategically located across the Great Lakes, providing flexible and rapid response for maintenance in U.S. ports and along the nation’s coasts.

“Maintaining the safety of navigation is an essential mission for the Corps of Engineers. We are proud to play our part in supporting commerce and building the nation,” said Lt. Col. Eli Adams, Buffalo District Commander. “The tug Don Raul will significantly improve our ability to safely and efficiently support the residents of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and ensure the economic viability of their waterways.

the Don Raul is a 74-foot, 2,800 horsepower, twin-prop seagoing tug built by Great Lakes Shipyard In 2008.

The tug will be leased for one year, with an initial contract of $3 million and renewal options for up to four additional years, bringing the total contract value to $8.4 million.

the Don Raul will replace the tug in the short term Cheraw, while the district develops and implements a longer-term replacement plan. the Cheraw is a former Navy seagoing tug that was transferred to Buffalo District in 1998. The tugs are used to transport derrick and material barges from port to port.

the Don Raul is scheduled to depart her current port of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and arrive in Cleveland for maintenance prior to final delivery to the Buffalo District Fleet Repair Team on August 1.

The District of Buffalo is responsible for maintaining 35 federal harbors and navigation projects on Lakes Erie and Ontario, including approximately 37 miles of protective structures such as jetties, jetties, and breakwaters.

The District Repair Fleet Program utilizes the government-owned repair fleet and hired labor to perform repairs to the District’s navigational structures, perform snags and clearances to remove trees and other obstructions to the navigation, and installing and maintaining safety ladders and signage.

The repair fleet is engaged in port maintenance activities throughout the Great Lakes construction season, typically mid-April to early November.

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