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Army Corps christen largest crane in state | News

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Army Corps christen largest crane in state

The barge-mounted crane is named after the late Mike Hendricks, who worked more than 30 years for the Corps until his death in 2008.

His widow, Linda Hendricks of Benton, and other family members were on hand as his son Josh broke the champagne bottle and put the giant floating crane into full service. In addition to being the state's largest crane, it is the second-largest in the entire Corps nationwide. It was constructed to conduct routine maintenance and repairs on Montgomery Point Lock and Dam on the lower White River near its confluence with the Mississippi River in Southeast Arkansas.

The crane barge is 260 feet long by 84 feet wide and has a 12 foot hull depth. The pedestal-mounted Manitowoc 18,000 crane has a 200-foot boom and a capacity of lifting up to 285 tons.

The lower deck houses a locker room, office, briefing room, showers, toilets, machinery room, work shop and storage. The main deck houses a restroom, generator room and the anchor control system room.

Hendricks, a central Arkansas native, first took a summer job with the Corps in 1974 as a civil engineering aide when he was a student at the University of Arkansas. He continued summer employment with the Corps each year until he graduated in December 1978 and joined the district's permanent staff as a hydraulic engineer.

In September 1991, Hendricks was selected as chief of the Reservoir Control Branch, where he served until 2001. He served temporary assignments at the Russellville and Pine Bluff project offices from January 2001 until his selection as the operations project manager of the Pine Bluff Project Office in August 2003. Hendricks served in that position until his death in December 2008.

He was a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, and he was a registered professional engineer in Arkansas.