Mat Boat Sources Sought Notice

Bristol, Rhode Island – November 19th, 2018 – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Marine Design Center (MDC) will soon be releasing a sources sought notice for the construction of the Mat Boat, a 188’ x 74’ x 10’ deck barge, for the Mat Sinking Unit (MSU) located on the Mississippi River. The barge is to be built to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Rules for Service on Rivers and Intracoastal Waterways. The sources sought notice is only for the construction of the barge, shown in Figure B, and not for the final product which incorporates a government furnished robotics package shown in Figure A. The sources sought notice will be released on the website.

In 2015, Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. (BHGI) was tasked through an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with the USACE, to design, size, and specify details for the new Mat Boat, Mat Assembly Process and Mat Placement Process. BHGI first visited the MSU to gain a better understanding of its current operations. The Mat Sinking Unit’s purpose is to lay a protective overcoat of concrete mats to shield the riverbank from erosion and sloughing. USACE’s goal is to minimize the environmental impact and improve the safety of USACE’s personnel who operate the MSU by incorporating automated technology.

In 2017, BHGI was subcontracted by SIA Solutions, LLC (SIA) to execute the detailed design of the Mat Boat. BHGI has been coordinating with the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) at Carnegie Mellon University, who is responsible for the design and engineering of the robotic system on the Mat Boat, to ensure that the structure for the mat deck can incorporate the robotics they are designing and the weights are updated accordingly.


Figure B: Mat Boat without Robotics System

BHGI is a full-service naval architecture, marine engineering and consulting firm located in Bristol, Rhode Island. BHGI has been in business for more than twenty years and has produced numerous designs, to which hundreds of vessels have been built. BHGI specializes in commercial vessel design and consulting, and has experience with tugs, barges, ATB’s, passenger vessels, dredges, workboats and floating dry docks.

SIA Solutions, LLC (SIA) is a professional services engineering and consulting firm specializing in program and project specific solutions in Environmental Consulting, Engineering, Radiological Services, Infrastructure Asset Management, Public-Private partnerships (P3/P4), Energy, and Water Resources. SIA executes an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to Asset Management that includes holistic planning, development, and disposition of man-made and natural infrastructure in order to optimize utilization and value.

The National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) is an operating unit within Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, the world’s largest robotics research and development organization. NREC works closely with government and industry clients to develop and mature robotics technologies from concept to commercialization.


Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. is a full-service naval architecture and marine engineering firm specializing in commercial vessel design and consulting.

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