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Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Brutus arrives in pieces

57-ton suction dredge will be assembled on the east side of lake

By Nancy Allen

Crews hoist the 55,000-pound hull of Brutus, the state park's new dredge, onto t. . .

GRAND LAKE - Grand Lake's new $668,000 dredge, Brutus, arrived Wednesday in several pieces on five trailers.
The 57-ton suction dredge will be assembled this week in the parking lot at Freedom Outdoors Marina on the east side of the lake. A dedication ceremony with a champagne bottle christening will be next week, said Tom Grabow, manager of Grand Lake St. Marys State Park's dredge program.
Like its OSU Buckeye mascot namesake, the dredge is scarlet and gray. The Brutus name will be added to both sides of the 67-foot-long dredge.
"We wanted something to stand out on our lake so people recognize it as a dredge not already in our fleet," Grabow said of the unit built by Ellicott Dredges in Baltimore.
The company usually paints all of its dredges a standard powder blue color but happily accepted the special order for Grand Lake, Grabow said.
Brutus is important to improving boater navigation in the 13,500-acre lake and improving water quality, state park manager Brian Miller said.
The 24-foot-wide dredge will be used for many years to remove phosphorous-laden sediment from the lake's bottom, lessening the amount available to feed blue-green algae.
Brutus will be able to pump out 4,250 gallons of water-laden muck per minute, the same amount as the St. Marys Dredge, which it is replacing. That 1968 suction dredge was retired at the end of last year's dredge season due to age. The remainder of the state park's fleet includes the Pump-A-Little and the statewide traveling Eagle dredge.
Brutus' first job, which he'll start in the next few weeks, will be to dredge the channel at Rustic Haven. Other jobs include the channel at Kozy Kampground, the mouth of Its It channel and the mouth of the Anderson's channel near the Mercer County Sportsmen Club.
Funds to buy Brutus were secured by Sen. Keith Faber, R-Celina.
In 2011 the state removed roughly 272,000 cubic yards of sediment from the lake, four times the amount removed the previous two years. This year's goal is 275,000 cubic yards, Grabow said.
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