BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION: I Lift NY super crane arrives in New York

One of the world’s largest floating cranes will be used to build the New NY Bridge

January 31, 2014

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the arrival of the I Lift NY crane, one of world’s largest floating cranes, to be used in the construction of the New NY Bridge to replace the Tappan Zee. The I Lift NY crane will be docked at a private facility in Jersey City, where it will be berthed until moved to the New NY Bridge project site this spring. Completing a 6,000-mile journey that began in the San Francisco area in December, the super crane arrived in the Port of New York and New Jersey yesterday morning.

"It is fitting that New York's most ambitious infrastructure project of the 21st century includes one of the world's biggest floating cranes," said Cuomo. "The I Lift NY super crane can lift the equivalent of 12 Statues of Liberty at once, and its ability to lift huge modular components of the new bridge into place and to help dismantle the old bridge will reduce construction time by months and reduce project costs by millions of dollars."

Under Cuomo’s leadership and with the support of President Barack Obama and the federal government, the New NY Bridge project has progressed to actual construction in just two years, following a decade of delay. Since October 2011, steps forward include: new design-build legislation was enacted; concurrent environmental review and procurement processes were completed; a project labor agreement was negotiated with construction unions; and preconstruction activities commenced. The bridge is scheduled to be completed in less than five years from the start of formal construction, making it one of the nation’s largest construction projects to be completed in such a short time.

With a boom length of 328 ft and a 1,900-ton lift capacity, the I Lift NY super crane will allow Tappan Zee Constructors LLC (TZC), the project’s design-builders, to construct the new bridge and demolish the exiting bridge safely and more efficiently.

The extraordinary lifting capability of I Lift NY will enable TZC to construct giant modular sections of the new bridge at an assembly yard along the Hudson River. These sections, weighing 900 to 1,100 tons, will then be brought to the construction site by barge and installed by the I Lift NY super crane.

I Lift NY will also be used to dismantle the existing bridge. The crane’s capacity will allow the 60-year-old structure to be disassembled in larger pieces, saving both money and time.

Built on a 384-ft barge, I Lift NY has no navigational power of its own. The lifting power for the giant floating crane comes from three diesel-powered 806-hp main generators and one 122-hp auxiliary generator, which are incorporated into the barge. Traveling about 50 miles off the coast throughout its journey, the floating crane and its accompanying tugs headed south along California, Mexico and Central America, before beginning transit through the Panama Canal on January 15.

To make the trip from California to New York, a specially-designed boom support was fabricated, attached to and extending some 86 ft beyond the stern of the barge, thereby allowing the boom to be lowered to its transit position. Certain components were wrapped with a heavy poly material to protect them from salt spray during the voyage. A temporary electrical generation system was installed so that power to key pieces of equipment could be maintained during the journey and to power dehumidifiers added to keep certain rooms and compartments dry. To protect I Lift NY as it transited the Panama Canal, “rub rails” were installed along the side of the crane to avoid contact with the canal lock walls.

Photo courtesy of the Governor's Press Office