Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sayonara to the Left Coast Lifter

The bridge is built; long live the bridge!

Having finished its work here, the Left Coast Lifter is on her way: Muscular West Coast Worker Is on Way to Build New Tappan Zee

The crane will enable Tappan Zee Constructors, the consortium of four engineering and construction firms that has been contracted by the New York State Thruway Authority to build the $3.9 billion replacement bridge, to work faster and cheaper. According to Tom Madison, the authority’s executive director, the crane allowed the consortium to bid $800 million less than competitors.

Better tools; more efficient workers; a better result. The engineer likes to hear those words.

Make sure you watch the short video on the New York Times website. I love the way the producer solemnly intones

It could lift the entire Statue of Liberty
just as the video captures the Left Coast Lifter floating past the Statue of Liberty.

It sounds like the Lifter has a busy calendar ahead:

The crane will also allow for a speedier dismantling of the crumbling Tappan Zee, authority officials said, once the first of two new side-by-side spans is opened to traffic, scheduled for December 2016. (The second span is slated to open in 2018.)

Best of luck, New York. The Lifter is a great piece of equipment, and did her job well. But doesn't the governor know of the superstition of sailors?

The merged 6,750-ton contraption, whose assembly was completed in 2009 near Shanghai, is one of many novel pieces of consortium equipment that were not available in 1955, when the current Tappan Zee was completed, or in 1964, when the New York area’s last major bridge, the Verrazano-Narrows, opened. But by its sheer scale it may become an emblem for this 21st-century bridge. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who pressed for the project, wants to rename the crane the “I Lift New York.”

My advice: don't worry about the name, just put her to work and get that new bridge built!

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