LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The largest
towboat ever built in the United States, the Motor Vessel Mississippi, is a
sight to see. This 241-foot-long
workhorse for the Army Corps of Engineers will travel down the Arkansas River
Aug. 12-14, and the Corps invites the public to view it as it moves
it will travel the length of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation
System, there are several riverfront areas where it can be better seen. The
following are good locations to view the passing vessel, though the time
schedules are subject to some variation.
at Fort Smith Riverfront Park in Fort Smith
10 a.m. -
10:30 a.m. at James W. Trimble Lock and Dam in Barling
– 3 p.m. at Ozark-Jeta Taylor Lock and Dam in Ozark
6 a.m. –
6:30 a.m. at Dardanelle Lock and Dam in Dardanelle
– 10 a.m. at Arthur V. Ormond in Morrilton
1 p.m. –
1:30 p.m. at Toad Suck Lock and Dam in Conway
-6:15 p.m. at Murray Lock and Dam in Little Rock
6 a.m. -
6:30 a.m. in Riverfront Park in North Little Rock
The vessel will be on the Arkansas
River transporting members of the Mississippi River Commission on their
second-ever inspection of the McClellan-Kerr waterway. The first inspection occurred in 2010.
Mississippi River Commission was established by Congress in 1879. Today the MRC provides water resources
engineering direction and policy advice to the Administration, Congress, and
inspection focuses high-level attention on Arkansas River navigation and its benefits. The Arkansas River and other navigable
tributaries feed important commerce through the Mississippi River system and
America’s sea ports.
Mississippi is the flagship of the Corps. It is the largest
diesel towboat in the U.S. and is 58 feet wide with 6,300 horsepower. It is 52
feet from the water line to the pilot house.
Mississippi spends more than 90 percent of its time as a working
towboat for the Corps. It is stationed at the Memphis District and moves
barges, equipment, and supplies on the Mississippi River. It also serves as an
inspection and workboat for the Mississippi River Commission during its two
inspection trips each year (high-water, normally in April, and the low-water,
normally in August).
During times of national crisis that occur with
natural disasters and other threats, the MV
Mississippi is a valuable asset available to serve as a command
center stationed along the nation’s waterways.