Monster floating crane arrives for Tappan Zee Bridge replacement

Monster floating crane arrives for Tappan Zee Bridge replacement

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The Left Coast Lifter, one of the world's largest floating cranes, floats in a berth in Jersey City, N.J., March 26, 2014. (AP photo/Jim Fitzgerald) The Left Coast Lifter, one of the world's largest floating cranes, floats in a berth in Jersey City, N.J., March 26, 2014. (AP photo/Jim Fitzgerald)

By JIM FITZGERALD | AP

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (AP) -- Billed as one of the world's largest floating cranes, the Left Coast Lifter will be going to work this spring on a new span that will replace the Tappan Zee Bridge on the Hudson River north of New York City. Here are five things to know about it:

SIZE: The crane's boom is 328 feet, and the barge it sits on is 356 feet long. The crane can lift 1,900 tons, or nearly 13 times the weight of the Statue of Liberty. The construction manager says that capacity won't be tested, however, because the bridge sections it's expected to handle will top out at 1,100 tons. Counterweights and the natural buoyancy of water support the weight.

SAVINGS: Builders say the crane's ability to handle large loads will end up saving millions of dollars on the $3.9 billion project. Without it, crews would have to load smaller sections using a series of smaller cranes.

LAST JOB: The $50 million Lifter was built in 2009 with a specific task in mind -- replacing the earthquake-damaged section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. That was finished last year. While in San Francisco Bay, the crane also lifted an old sunken tugboat from the bay bottom, helping to end an oil spill.

TRANSPORTATION: For all the crane's lifting power, it has no means of propulsion, so it was towed by a tugboat 6,000 miles from California to New York after being shrink-wrapped for protection. It paid a reported $70,000 in tolls at the Panama Canal.

NAME: New York officials are calling the crane "I Lift NY," playing off the "I Love New York" tourism slogan. But a spokeswoman for the builders says the craft "is registered with the Coast Guard as the Left Coast Lifter and that will not change."

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