Left Coast Lifter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Left Coast Lifter (D 016).jpg
Left Coast Lifter at work on the Bay Bridge
28 May 2011
United States US
Name: Left Coast Lifter
Operator: Tappan Zee Constructors
Builder: US Barge LLC
Yard number: Hull 2[1]
Completed: 2009
In service: 2009–present
Homeport: Wilmington
Identification: USCG ID 1206934
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Floating barge crane
Tonnage: 7695
Length: 384 feet (117 m)
Beam: 99.8 feet (30 m)
Draught: 22 feet (7 m)
Propulsion: none

The Left Coast Lifter is a floating derrick barge or sheerleg which was built to assist in the eastern span replacement of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. The barge carries a shear legs crane which is the largest barge crane ever used on the West Coast. The barge's name is taken from "Left Coast", a slang term for the West Coast of the United States (which appears on the left side of a typical map and also refers to the region's liberal, or "left leaning", political tradition).

Operational history[edit]

Zhenhua 22 ferrying Left Coast Lifter past Alcatraz Island.

Left Coast Lifter was built for the American Bridge/Fluor joint venture (ABFJV),[2] which was the lead contractor on the self-anchored suspension eastern span replacement. The barge was built in Portland, Oregon by U.S. Barge, LLC[3] and ferried to Shanghai, where it was fitted with a shear-leg crane manufactured by Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. Ltd (ZPMC). The completed sheerleg was ferried back to the United States on a semi-submersible heavy-lift ship, the Zhen Hua 22 (IMO 8106446). The total cost was approximately US$50,000,000 (equivalent to $55,820,000 in 2016).[4]

While transporting the sheerleg, the heel pin support may be moved towards the bow of the barge in order to lower the boom and the overall profile of the barge, facilitating transport.

Liftech Consultants assisted ABFJV with design review for the crane, including developing the technical specifications sent to ZPMC.[5] The project received three Excellence in Structural Engineering awards:

Before Left Coast Lifter was fitted out with the crane for bridge construction, it was deemed to violate the Jones Act, specifically in that since the integral crane would be built and installed in China, it could not be used to transport goods by water between U.S. ports. Therefore its first job, prior to installation of the crane, was to haul dredged materials to Long Beach.[9]

Left Coast Lifter raises a prefabricated steel bridge segment.

After Lifter arrived at the Bay Area in March 2009,[10] it was used to place pre-fabricated falsework truss sections and the 28 box girder deck sections.[11][12] Before the heavy deck sections for the Bay Bridge were lifted, the Left Coast Lifter raised a sunken tugboat in August 2009, USS Wenonah.[13] The first deck section was lifted in February 2010,[14] and the last deck section was lifted in October 2011.[15]

Crane of the Left Coast Lifter, working on the new Tappan Zee bridge.

American Bridge/Fluor solicited offers for Left Coast Lifter in 2012, after the conclusion of its work on the Bay Bridge.[16] A consortium of companies, Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC, a joint venture of Fluor, American Bridge, Granite and Traylor Brothers), purchased the crane barge, which gave them a competitive edge in the bidding process for the construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement across the Hudson River.[17] Reportedly, according to the purchase agreement between TZC and ABFJV, Left Coast Lifter will be returned to ABFJV once the work on the Tappan Zee Bridge is completed.[18][19]

Now nicknamed I Lift NY, the barge is still officially registered with the U.S. Coast Guard as the Left Coast Lifter. The crane departed San Francisco Bay under tow in December 2013, transited the Panama Canal in January 2014,[20] and arrived at Jersey City at the end of January.[21] There it was refitted with an upgraded control system[22] before arriving at the job site in October 2014.[23] Left Coast Lifter made its first lift on the new Tappan Zee bridge in April 2015,[24] a steel-reinforced concrete pile cap which will form part of the bridge's foundation.

The massive crane is being used for heavy lifts of large bridge sections.[25] After building the new bridge, Lifter will also be used for heavy lifts during the dismantlement of the old structure at that location.


The shear-leg crane on Left Coast Lifter has a 328-foot (100 m) long boom, weighing 992 short tons (900 t) with a 1,873-short-ton (1,699 t) lift capacity.[3] It is the largest barge crane ever used on the U.S. West Coast.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Colton, Tim (28 July 2016). "Vigor Fab, Portland OR". Shipbuilding History. Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "FLUOR Projects: CALTRANS San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction". FLUOR. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Bay Bridge Construction Enters Momentous Stage As Giant Crane Barge Makes Historic Entry" (PDF) (Press release). San Francisco. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Bay Bridge gets a whopping crane". San Francisco Chronicle. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "1,700 t Floating Crane Design Review "Left Coast Lifter"" (PDF). Liftech Consultants. September 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "2010 SEAONC Excellence in Engineering Awards". Structural Engineers Association of Northern California News. San Francisco: SEAONC. XIII (6): 4. June 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "SEAOC Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards". SEAOC. 2011. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "2011 NCSEA Awards Presentation" (PDF). NCSEA. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Vorderbrueggen, Lisa (22 February 2008). "Coast Guard OKs barge for giant Chinese crane". Inside Bay Area. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Betts, Karin (12 March 2009). "Massive "Left Coast Lifter" Crane Arrives in San Francisco Bay". Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Eskenazi, Joe (13 March 2009). "Pssst, Buddy: You Wanna Buy a Giant Crane?". SF Weekly. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  12. ^ Vorderbrueggen, Lisa (28 May 2013). "Left Coast Lifter Set to Leave Bay Area after Bay Bridge work". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "ABFJV Helps Prevent Serious Environmental Hazard" (PDF). FLUOR. 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  14. ^ Rokeach, Barrie (3 February 2010). "Historic Lift of First Self-Anchored Suspension Span Section for New Bay Bridge East Span". Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  15. ^ Bobb, Nancy E.; Kolle, Greg A. (September–October 2012). "Bridging the Bay". Public Roads. Federal Highway Administration. 76 (2). 
  16. ^ Beegle, Bob (Spring 2012). "Barges: An Overview of the Workhorses of the Marine Industry" (PDF). Marcon International. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  17. ^ Berger, Joseph (27 January 2014). "Muscular West Coast Worker Is on Way to Build New Tappan Zee". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  18. ^ Matier, Phil; Ross, Andrew (27 October 2014). "$50 million Bay Bridge crane given to builders for free". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  19. ^ Juva-Brown, Theresa (30 October 2014). "California's super crane revives coastal rivalry". Lower Hudson Journal News. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  20. ^ Weiller, Daniel (January 15, 2014). "‘I LIFT NY’ SUPER CRANE TRANSITS PANAMA CANAL, CONTINUES TOWARD NEW NY BRIDGE PROJECT SITE". New York State Thruway Authority. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Monster Crane Arrives In NYC To Help Build New Tappan Zee Bridge". CBS New York. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  22. ^ Juva-Brown, Theresa (30 July 2014). "Tappan Zee Bridge: Left Coast Lifter gets tech upgrade". Poughkeepsie Journal. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "Left Coast Lifter Clears Tappan Zee Bridge". Engineering News-Record. McGraw-Hill Construction. October 9, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  24. ^ "'Game changer' TZ crane makes 1st lift". Lower Hudson Journal News. 26 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  25. ^ Berger, Joseph (6 October 2014). "West Coast Weightlifter Arrives at Tappan Zee Site". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 

External links[edit]