The tug Undaunted pushed the barge Pere Marquette 41 through the Duluth ship canal and out into Lake Superior today (September 14, 2009).

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Cargo? Scrap metal from Azcon Corporation. This was the 5th trip to the Twin Ports for the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette this year. On the first trip, she loaded taconite rock at the Hallett Dock. The next 3 trips, she loaded scrap at the Hallet Dock and this trip as above. It is hard to believe that the barge started life in 1941 as a ferry, considered by many to be the most luxurious ferry ever built. She had other names in between then and now.

Pere Marquette taking scrap out

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In late May, the barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived at the Hallett Dock to load a cargo of taconite rock. It was the first trip to the Twin Ports for either the barge or its tug, Undaunted. On Tuesday, they were back, and going to the Hallett Dock, but this time, they loaded scrap steel to take to Algoma Steel at the other end of Lake Superior. It will be recycled into their blast furnaces and made into steel again. The barge left on Wednesday morning (pictured). Photo taken on July 15, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-16-2009

Party for Pere Marquette 41-Undaunted

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The barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived at the Hallett Dock on Thursday afternoon (above) ready to load a cargo of taconite rock, also called Mesabi hard rock by project sponsor Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at UMD. A large group of reporters, port officials, and project members were at the dock to greet the vessel when it arrived. It was a celebration heralding a potential new business venture, using taconite rock from the Iron Range as road bed aggregate, in this case, in Chicago. Dock-side celebrations have been few and far between with diminished boat traffic and increased security measures. It was good for the port to pay attention to the tug and barge and good for the region that we were watching what many hope will be a new cargo going through the Twin Ports. Several people pointed out that more jobs was the bottom line in the project. Photo taken on May 29, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-30-2009

Big day at the Hallett Dock #5

pm20090529_6181The tug Undaunted pulled her barge, the Pere Marquette 41, into the Hallett Dock #5 in West Duluth on Thursday afternoon, May 28th. Both were making their first trip on Lake Superior and they are here to pick up the first cargo of taconite rock to be taken from Duluth.
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Reporters, cameras and project members all awaited the vessel as she backed into the dock.
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It is a project developed at the UMD Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) that is finding new ways to use taconite ore from the Iron Range. This rock has a very low level of iron content in it and would not be used to make pellets but it is an ideal material to serve as aggregate in making road surfaces. This rock is going to Chicago for a test run.
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Mike McCoshen, Hallett Dock President, is interviewed about the project
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Above, Peter Passi of the Duluth News Tribune interviews Ron Johnson from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority
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The taconite pile about to be loaded is seen just behind an anxious audience. Behind the pile, the ship loader (blue) is slowly moving into position.
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pm20090529_6246There were two front-end loaders picking up the taconite rock and dropping it in the hopper that fed the conveyor belt up to the barge. Above, foreground, you see one of them picking up a load at the pile while the other one, top right, is about to dump the rock into the hopper.Taconite is moving up the ship loader conveyor and into the vessel’s cargo hold. The hard work begins and for the rest of us, it is time to go home.
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