I Lift NY Super Crane Arrives at the New NY Bridge Project

Following a 6,000 mile journey that included transit through the Panama Canal, the New NY Bridge project’s I Lift NY super crane arrived at the Hudson River construction site on October 6.

The final leg of I Lift NY’s trip began before sunrise when it departed its temporary berth in New York Harbor. Two tugboats guided the barge-mounted super crane past the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson. Passing the Manhattan skyline, under the George Washington Bridge and along the Palisades, I Lift NY drew many spectators throughout the crystal clear autumn morning. Governor Andrew Cuomo and Congresswoman Nita Lowey welcomed the crane as it arrived just south of the existing Tappan Zee Bridge shortly before noon.

“The New NY Bridge project is a symbol of partnership and progress – it is tactile proof that the new New York is here, with a government that works more efficiently and tackles problems more affordably,” Governor Cuomo said. “The I Lift NY super crane will speed up construction time and it is one of the factors that helped save the State more than one billion dollars compared to early estimates.”

The I Lift NY is 328 feet tall, which is taller than a 30-story building, and can lift up to 1,900 tons, or the equivalent of 12 Statues of Liberty. The huge lifting capability of the floating crane will enable Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) to pre-fabricate huge sections of the new twin-span bridge off-site, saving both time and money as well as enhancing project safety and quality. Despite its enormity, the barge-mounted crane sits high in the water, thereby reducing the need for dredging on the project by 50 percent.

Total wire rope on the crane exceeds nine miles. In addition to the main hoist, the crane runs a 2-in.-dia boom hoist line reeved in 24 parts, a 1-5/16-in.-dia auxiliary hoist line reeved in six parts and a 1-3/16-in.-dia whip hoist line reeved in one part.

The super crane will be used to place giant modular sections of the new bridge, which each weigh 900 to 1,100 tons, and will be brought to the construction site from off-site staging areas and fabrication facilities. The super crane will also help remove the existing 60-year-old structure in larger pieces, speeding up that process as well.

Earlier this year, the super crane traveled through the Panama Canal on its way to New York. At a facility in the Port of New York and New Jersey, I Lift NY was modified for work on the New NY Bridge project, a process that included improving its operating systems and inspecting every inch of the equipment.

This fall, I Lift NY will begin placing the new bridge’s massive pile caps, girders and deck segments. Later, it will help dismantle the existing Tappan Zee Bridge by removing sections as large as 1,000 tons, enabling more rapid deconstruction than if the work was carried out by standard-sized cranes. Owned by TZC and officially registered with the U.S. Coast Guard as the Left Coast Lifter, the super crane’s extraordinary capabilities will be instrumental to completing the new bridge on schedule in 2018.

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