May 03, 2006 12:36 pm
Inland ocean port marks ‘35s’
Nation's most inland ocean port expects 35,000th barge to dock this month.
CNHI News Service
CLAREMORE, Okla. — The first significant “35” at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa took place 35 years ago when a single hopper barge loaded with 650 tons of newsprint docked at the Port of Catoosa’s general dry cargo wharf.
It was January 1971, and this was the first shipment of any kind to traverse the entire McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. Arriving from the Bowater Paper Co. in Calhoun, Tenn., 1,800 rolls of newsprint were destined for the Newspaper Printing Corporation, the company that printed the Tulsa World and Tulsa Tribune newspapers. People came from miles around to watch the barge approach.
One month later, William Verity, president of Armco Steel Co. officially dedicated the Port of Catoosa. By this time approximately 3,500 tons of cargo had already been handled at Port terminals.
Waterway transportation continued to grow.
Today, approximately 2 million tons of waterborne cargo pass over the port’s docks every year. Over the past 35 years, 56 million tons of cargo have been transferred at the Port of Catoosa in 35,000 barges.
“We can’t predict the exact date the 35,000th barge will arrive,” said Steve Kissee, chair of the Rogers County Port Authority, but it will be sometime in May.”
In addition to being the nation's most inland ocean port, the Port of Catoosa is also a 2,000-acre industrial park with 62 businesses employing approximately 3,500 people.
Claremore (Okla.) Progress