RESERVE, LOUISIANA — The city of Villahermosa in the state of Tabasco, Mexico recently added a W&S Wolverine dredge from DSC Dredge, LLC to its flood-prevention arsenal. In 2007, the city experienced a devastating flood. Since then, the federal and state governments, with the assistance of private industry, launched a program designed to help prevent future flooding in and around Villahermosa.
This flood prevention program addresses three main areas — the deepening and clearing of the five-plus rivers that converge near the city, new regulations requiring that low-lying areas be filled in and new building construction be above the designated flood stage, and a highway construction program that improves transportation in and around the city. All three program areas require the use of hydraulic dredges. Dredging the rivers will increase their holding capacities and flow rates, while the sand and other materials removed from the rivers will be used as fill for low-lying areas and as needed for building and highway construction programs.
The new Wolverine dredge, owned by Gerardo and Fernando Turriza, is being leased by Comercializadora y Agregadol la Ceiba S.A. de C.V and was placed in operation at Rio De La Sierra in March 2013. The 68-foot-long dredge is powered by a 440-horsepower
Caterpillar C13 ACERT diesel engine. It can dredge up to 25 feet below the surface and offers a 10-inch discharge configuration, which allows particle clearance of up to 6 inches. The cutterhead, designed with six cast-steel smooth blades, is attached to a variable-speed, reversible, hydraulic cutter motor manufactured by Kawasaki. The dredge pump, a J30 Metso Minerals/Thomas Simplicity series, is rated for 200 feet total discharge head at 4,200 gallons per minute. Five hydraulic winches, rated with a 4,500-pound line pull capacity, are used to swing the dredge, lift the spuds and lift the ladder.
The new dredge is performing well, as are the other W&S dredges working in and around Villahermosa. There are already several dredges in operation on the rivers around the city, but more are needed. The rivers and lakes will provide millions of cubic yards of sand and fill for the numerous safety and building projects planned in the area. DSC Dredge expects to play a major role in providing dredges for these projects in the future.