One hundred and eight (108). That is the new running tally for new construction barges built at Eagle Fabrication in Sauget, Ill.
Specializing in the construction of deck, crane, spud, dock and other specialty inland and ABS classed unrestricted-service barges, the new barge construction business was founded in the late 1990s. Eagle Fabrication’s history extends as far back as 1858 when it was called Eagle Packet Company.
Its first barge, a single-rake, 150- by 40- by 8-foot deck barge, was launched in November 1999. In late 2019, Eagle celebrated the launch of its 100th barge, a 180- by 72- by 10-foot barge with 36-inch by 36-inch by 10-foot spud wells. In between, there have been barges for blue-water use, spud barges and idler barges for the dredging industry from a mix of in-house designs and custom designs to meet customer needs.
The latest barge, launched June 6, is a 160- by 60- by 10-foot heavy-duty barge with spud wells. The barge is protected by Carboline paint and features Nabrico deck fittings.
Through the years there have been two general managers at Eagle Fabrication: first, co-founder Tim Thomas and succeeding him, Matt Thomas. Tim, a respected leader in the maritime industry, passed away in 2018. Matt, Tim’s son, carries on the family legacy and is the current general manager.
Consistently producing between four and seven barges per year, Eagle Fabrication enjoys steady business and repeat customers, but is always interested in discussing new opportunities. Employment opportunities are also available for qualified candidates.
Caption for top photo: This 160- by 60- by 10-foot barge was launched into the Mississippi River at Sauget, Ill., by Eagle Fabrication June 6. (photo by Nelson Spencer Jr.)