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WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 1952 BLYTHEVn.LE (ARK.) COURIER NEWS ?AGB River Bank Hums with Activity as Mississippi Gets New Revetments . . . bulldozer, top center, power tractors were kept slopes to make a gently shoves giant chunks of at work Hour after Hour nglnig base for the new dirt Into the leveling the revetments. river channel. A top of the bank battery of the .snub-nosed and feeling dirt down the By GltAHAM SUDBURY, JR. (Courier News Staff Writer) The Mississippi River at Barfield last week was reminescent. of early river days when traffic on the Father of Waters kept trie thriving BarfLeld community a beehive of activity. More than 200 men and close Co five million dollars worth of equipment make up Bank protection Party No. 11 of the United States Engineers. Under the supervision of Superintendent oi Construction M. B. Strong, that party is now engaged In tidying up nature's work on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi in preparation (or the laying ot new revetments along the way. Mr. Strong and his crew spent a week here draining backwater, grading and clearing banks and generally reforming the face oE tha Barfield section of the shoreline. Giant draglines, E lea m shove Is, bulldozers and lesser implements scaled and graded to minute specif'ca- tfons the dirt deposits along the bank, making an even slope for the new revetment, 1 !. Gravel was deposited at the waterline, ind the grading continued on out into the water. Surveyors dotted the bank, calculating baselines for the new revetments and marking locations for the crews to follow. In the offices aboard the boats, engineers planned and plated the entire operation—the huge Job of fitting a new jacket for the Father of Waters. A. B. Ewing, project engineer, said he lias been working for tht Engineers Corps out of Memphis since 1930, and this wa.i the first time any work had been done on the hank in this section except lor minor maintenance work in "patching" the gigantic concrete slopes (hat unfold like a slanting ribbon alongside the muddy wafers, Bank Protection Party No. llvhas moved on now but the work will continue when another Engineers Corps division, Party No, 8, arrives- . . . Riant Ilucyrus dragline, one of the largest in the wor preparation for luying ot new revetments.. Large bucket on 15 yards of earth In a single bite. Id, cats into bank as new slope Is this dragline has weight of 1-1,000 constructed IB Ibs.j can mov» . . . .team shovel in though * full-sifted hu«« dragline. river alongside dragline scatters gravel to stabilize bank and provide base for dirt. Al- construction-type shovel, the large Instrument looked like a plaything alongside the • • • deckhands aboard the dragline barge work at winch and hoist cables used to hold barge's position in water. Cable which raises and towers dragline bucket runs from nearby quarter-boat to barge, U u*Le*eI- powered. . . . IHJae bucket of dragline swings down to uproot * ItuKe area of earth. A car would fit, In it.-s giant jaws. Engineers have one other drngllnc ot comparable size; no larger draglines exist. . . . complex makeup of htigc dragline Is demonstrated by mas* of art- Joining lines and cables. Machine uses 3-inch line, with normal drag- line using about a three-quarters of an inch line. Expert, operator In cab at right handles the machine like a toy. Few operatori are «x- perienced on machinery of these proportions. arge housing boat accomodates ^ „ , surveyors determine baseline for laying of new revetment. The . . . R typical bunkroom aboard the 0 cover approximately the same area as old onea. two nictl in a *>n\a.\], compact but snlficlenl space, llie entire boat is kept clean. In line with iradltinn. Separate facilities are aboard for white and Negro workers. A large galley on board is slocked once • new sect ions will Wafting material will be cut to specifications, laid before new crete is poured. week by •. trailer truck which lolSovtS the boat- activity on the Mississippi moves along once more as Bank protec- of small boat, while tugboat behind stands ready to move steam-shovel tlon Party No. 11 of the U*S. Engineers work at preparing banks [or barge beside it In background, quarter-boat is seen; aboard, electrical the laying of new revetments. Above, men in foreground work on deck and machine shops rival facilities of a small town. . . . nerve contor of all operations for the project. Is the central of- ... large living-quarters boat Tor Parly No. II houses and [certs mnr s of nomr give Ihi- project members a fu:fi flhnatd rhe iar S« boat. Water Boat No. 27. A communication* sjs- , han 2 oo nir-n. Formerly a Meamboal, Ihr old sfdewhce apartment house. " lem wllh ™ in switchboar<i hefe connects all boaUs, implements and the u ghthuusc 3^^. Later, the boat was u&td by Coa^t Guard, out i land vehicl**. , . . spare time aboard ship Is spent In the lounge room. Here, radios, magazine* and all the comfort, "living room" for the floating is mnro then turned ovf r to en since is. During remodeling, wheel was taken •_s used now is tuwed by tugs.