A state design task force for the new Tappan Zee Bridge has picked a construction company that may have a leg up on its competitors: it’s owns one of the continent’s largest floating cranes.
Two companies with the top contender, Tappan Zee Constructors, own the massive crane, which state officials say would speed up construction and reduce labor expenses, the Journal News reported today.
The colossal, custom-made machine — dubbed the Left Coast Lifter — was used by Fluor Enterprise and American Bridge Co. when they recently worked on the $6 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project, the paper reported. The companies are part of Tappan Zee Constructors, which the Journal News confirmed is the recommended choice to the state Thruway Authority. The Thruway Authority is meeting Dec. 17 to make the selection.
The group is the lowest bidder at $3.14 billion and also gave the lowest estimated time for completion: five years and two-and-a-half months.
The 400-foot-long crane lifts large pieces of material very quickly, thanks to an arm that is 25 stories tall and can hold up to 3.7 million pounds at a time — equal to about 1,000 cars, according to Liftech, an engineering firm based in California.
Kenton Lee, a crane structural engineer with Liftech, which worked with American Bridge/Fluor to engineer the crane, said the Left Coast Lifter might be the biggest crane of its kind in North America.
“It’s ginormous,” Lee told The Journal News on Thursday.
American Bridge/Fluor used the crane in 2009 to lift up 1,500-ton deck panels and segments of the tower on the east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Lee said.
The crane is sitting idle in the Bay area, he said.