The new crane barge replaces an older crane that has been in use for more than three decades. The home of the new barge is in Pleasant Valley.

DAVENPORT, Iowa – If you’ve been cruising down River Drive in Davenport for the past few days, it’s hard to miss the giant crane floating on a barge in the Mississippi.

And on Thursday, the US Army Corps of Engineers continued a time-honored tradition.

“That doesn’t happen every day,” said Colonel Steve Sattinger, commander of the Rock Island District of the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Col. Sattinger chaired the ceremony on Thursday and named the new Quad Cities crane barge.

“The barge it replaces, the crane it replaces, started operating in 1986, so we had it for over 35 years,” said Colonel Sattinger.

Park rangers from the US Army Corps of Engineers guided tours of the new crane runway after the ceremony.

One of these park rangers was Mike McKean.

“The good news is this crane likes weight,” said McKean. “It has the potential to lift 1,000,000 pounds or 500 tons. Now it generally doesn’t have to lift as much and the further the crane expands, the lower the lifting capacity. “

The crane itself is almost 60 meters high and, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers, can be rotated 360 degrees.

Don’t forget, today is the day the Rock Island District christened the newest tool in its maintenance fleet, the …

Posted by US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District on Thursday May 13th, 2021

On this tour, visitors meet crew members like Keith Senkbeil.

“It’s pretty tough. It’s a pretty strong crane,” said Senkbeil.

Senkbeil is the person who oversees the new crane, mainly working on locks and dams when gates need to be repaired or replaced.

“We can be folded up and ready to go in about 30 minutes,” said Senkbeil. “I’d probably have to put a crew together, about 10 to 12 men, and we could have a gate in two hours.”

The new crane has another advantage over its predecessor.

“This will be about 12 feet deeper than the old Quad Cities, which we can go when we flood where we couldn’t go before,” said Senkbeil.

Senkbeil calls this crane an asset to any district along the Mississippi.

“This will change the way we have seen things historically,” Senkbeil said.

The crane is primarily responsible for projects in the 314-mile stretch of the Mississippi in the Rock Island District, which stretches from Wisconsin to Missouri. The barge also helps out of the district if necessary.

The US Army Corps of Engineers will continue tours on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Davenport in the River Heritage Park.