30 Sep 04
(2) Barge train mass.
(a) The mass is based on the total weight of the barge and the commodity being carried in the barge
hopper. Weights for inland waterway barges are generally expressed in short tons (2,000 lb per ton). A
loaded jumbo open hopper barge drafting 3 m (9 ft) typically weighs between 680 to 862 kg (1,500 to
1,900 tons). Typical weight of an empty barge is 91 to 122 kg (200 to 270 tons). The mass (kip-sec2/ft) is
determined by dividing the weight by the gravitational constant g (32.2 ft/sec2). In addition, the mass of
the towboat should also be included when calculating the mass of the barge train.
(b) The mass for a barge train can be determined from different sources nationwide depending upon
the river system. For data prior to the year 2000, the Lock Performance Monitoring System (LPMS) is
available for all USACE locks and dams in the United States. In the year 2000, the Lakes and Rivers
Division (LRD) and Mississippi Valley Division (MVD) created their own database called OMNI for the
locks within their divisional territories. The Rock Island District has been collecting and processing
OMNI traffic data since 2000. The OMNI database is not currently cross-linked to the national LPMS
database since they use different database schemes. The national LPMS database (excluding OMNI data)
contains records from 1984 to present, and records are available from the Navigation Data Center at the
Institute for Water Resources. Both LPMS and OMNI contain such information as the total weight of
each barge train, type of commodity, and number of barges (loaded, unloaded). However, the weights in
both LPMS and OMNI are typically rounded by lock personnel to simplify their input into the databases.
(c) If more accurate weights are desired for the barge impact analysis, data from the Waterborne
Commerce (WBC) Statistics Center records could be utilized. WBC data can be obtained from the
USACE Navigation Data Center at the Institute for Water Resources (IWR): http://www.iwr.usace.
army.mil/ndc/index.htm. WBC data are based on the port-to-port manifest for each barge train and are
available for individual years and most navigation waterways. This manifest includes the exact weight of
the commodity in each barge and the weight of an empty barge. While the WBC data are more accurate
than OMNI, the format for the data will require it to be processed further for use in the analysis.
Table B-2 contains examples of collected data, including a comparison for various USACE locks for the
year of 1999. The data show a 3 to 4 percent difference between the two databases for higher traffic locks.
Locks that have smaller chambers or less traffic tend to have less than 1 percent difference in the mass.
Comparison of OMNI Data and WBC Data for the Year 1999
L/D 1 (Green)
L/D 4 (All)
L/D 2 (Mon)
Note: To convert tons to kilograms, multiply by 907.1847.