Dredge William A. Thompson

Dredge William A ThompsonOverview

  • Named after William A. Thompson, who worked for Corps of Engineers from 1878-1925.
  • Built by Dravo Corporation out of Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Christened by William Thompson's granddaughter in March 1937.
  • Arrived in Fountain City, Wis., on May 22, 1937.
  • Taken out of service in 2008.
  • Transfered to private ownership in 2012.



  • Was the biggest single piece of equipment used by the St. Paul District.
  • 267 feet long, 48 feet wide and 52-foot, 9-inch minimum bridge clearance.
  • 22-inch intake and 20-inch discharge.
  • Could dredge to a 23 1/2-foot depth and 250 feet wide from one mooring.
  • Weighs approximately 1,200 tons.

Dredging Operations

  • 20-inch cutterhead, pipeline hydraulic dredge
  • Averaged approximately 2 million cubic yards each year
  • Dredge 1,000 cubic yards per hour
  • When in use, helped maintain 850 miles of the Upper Mississippi River
  • Dredged in St. Paul, Rock Island and St. Louis districts
  • Worked 24 miles on the St. Croix River and 335 miles on the Illinois River
  • With Booster Barge "Mullen" and additional pipeline, they could reach over 10,000 feet from dredge site to disposal site
  • During normal years the Thompson was used from April until December