Super Crane: an award-winning Rock Star


We know it as the I Lift NY that saved New York State $1 billion, one factor that distinguished design-build team Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) from its two bidding competitors.

Did you know the Left Coast Lifter also won an award?

Union County College (New Jersey) Professor Will Van Dorp wrote about the super crane that holds rock-star-like awe for kids at educational outreach presentations:

“The crane arrived in Oakland in 2009 from Shanghai, China. For the 6200-mile Pacific crossing, the crane traveled on the deck of a heavy-lift ship called Zhenhua 22. Heavy-lift ships like Zhenhua 22 are partially sunk for loading and offloading so that cargo can be floated off or on.

A Shanghai company called ZPMC collaborated with several US companies to build this crane for a cost of approximately $50 million. Noteworthy is the fact that the barge that supports the crane was built in Portland, OR, on the Columbia River and transported to China for the crane to be mounted.

Although the I Lift NY has tremendous lifting capacity, it is by no means the largest floating crane in the world. Currently that title goes to cranes like Thialf and Saipem 7000, which can lift 14,000 tons or more.”

* * * * *

After leaving Oakland days before Christmas 2013 — escorted by tugboats Lauren Foss and Iver Foss — it arrived about six weeks later at a private facility in Jersey City and made its debut at the project site in early October 2014.

Crane clears the Tappan Zee Bridge/© Janie Rosman 2014

Crane clears the Tappan Zee Bridge/© Janie Rosman 2014

After doing a cool limbo maneuver under the bridge — aided by extra low tide that added an extra foot or two of clearance — two days after its arrival, the mammoth crane with super strength and no navigational power of its own has been helping build the bridge from its perch on a 384-foot barge.

With the first span set to open sometime next year, it’s been busy and so have the tugboats moving and positioning it.

Moored via spuds (parking brakes)/© Janie Rosman 2014

Moored via spuds (parking brakes)/© Janie Rosman 2014

Running on Windows 7, the I Lift NY has the latest software and hardware and a flat panel touch screen.

Anchored by spuds (like parking brakes) that are plunged 60 to 70 feet into mud (depending upon floor elevation), it has neither a steering system nor is it self-propelled. Rather, anchors running out 600 feet from the sides maneuver it once the spuds are pulled up, and its power comes from three diesel-powered main generators and one auxiliary generator.

“It will take a little time, anchor tests will be scheduled during the next two weeks,” things unseen that are necessary to get the crane to work, Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) construction manager Ro DiNardo said prior to its first placement.

Fast forward: the super crane is installing road deck on the eastbound Rockland approach, and the first span will open sometime next year.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

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