The Louisiana National Guard hired Ponca City’s MJ&H Fabrication to build the chamber that will be used to burn off millions of pounds of unsecured M6 propellant, which is commonly used as howitzer gunpowder. But before this chamber could get to work, there was the meticulous logistics process of getting it to its final destination.
J&B Heavy Haul, a customer of Terral RiverService, Inc., contracted Terral’s Logistics team to move this important project cargo from the Port of Catoosa to Natchitoches, LA by barge. Then to be offloaded and trucked by J&B Heavy Haul to its final destination which is Camp Minden, just 28 miles east of Shreveport, LA.
The chamber is 180 feet long and 27.5 feet in diameter, weighing in at nearly 500,000 pounds. It was one of the largest structures ever to be hauled through several small towns in Oklahoma. Due to its height, every power, phone, cable line and stop light in its path had to either be raised, dropped, or removed in order for the vessel to be transported to the Port of Catoosa. The same will occur on the trip from Natchitoches, La. to Camp Minden, after it’s offloaded from the barge.
The Terral Logistics Team played a key role in the coordination of moving the chamber from Oklahoma to Louisiana. Its journey started on the Verdigris River, moving on to the Arkansas River, down the Mississippi River, then up the Red River to its final destination. It traveled through 892 miles of river and passed through 22 lock chambers.
Despite high water levels causing delays, our vessel the Renee T. Whatley successfully delivered the chamber to Natchitoches on Monday, February 2nd, 2016 that ended its waterway journey to Camp Minden.
Due to recent high water levels on the Red River the unloading site had accumulated a large amount of silt and sand. Bierden Construction from Coushatta, LA was hired to remove the sand and build a new ramp capable of supporting the weight of the burn chamber.
Once the landing pad was prepared, the barge was held in place against the strong river current by heavy equipment, an anchor barge (spud barge), and a Tow Boat. After placing board mats and (4) four steel bridging ramps from the barge to the pad the chamber was ready to be driven off the barge. Once the burn chamber was off the barge it was taken to a staging area at the Port of Natchitoches to prepare for the final leg of its journey to Camp Minden.
The chamber left the Port on Monday, February 8, 2016 in order to travel by highway for the remainder of its trip. The delivery spanned over 4 days.
This is only one of the many types of cargo moves that the Terral Logistics group is capable of safely executing for our valued customers.
“We are equipped and ready to accommodate project cargo like we did in Natchitoches,” said Terral CEO Tom Gattle.