The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded the Trinity Marine Group Inc. a $21.8 million contract to build the largest diesel-power towboat ever constructed in the United States.
The 241-foot-long vessel, Mississippi, will be built at Trinity's Equitable Shipyards Inc. in New Orleans and assembled at Trinity's Halter Marine Inc. in Moss Point, Miss. Delivery is scheduled at the end of next year.The boat, which will be the Corps' flagship craft, will include a 7,000- horsepower engine to push up to 16 200-foot-long barges, a public hearing room where the Mississippi River Commission can hold meetings for up to 200 people, a glass-enclosed commissioners' deck across the bow above the main deck, two galleys and sleeping quarters for a crew of 78 and up to 100 guests.
The Corps has built four other flagships over the years and named each one after the north-south river that traverses the nation. Its 217-foot-long predecessor was built in 1961.
Last week, Trinity along with Bender Shipbuilding and Repair of Mobile, Ala., was awarded contracts totaling $185 million to build offshore clean-up vessels for a spill response cooperative funded by the oil industry.