Bridge Engineering Nerds

I’m not a bridge engineering nerd (yet), but I have been following the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction for one reason: the “I Lift NY” derrick-crane, which is officially the Left Coast Lifter.

Here’s what it looked like yesterday from the Nyack public viewing area:


The Left Coast Lifter is one of the largest, if not The Largest, floating derricks in the world. As such, it is the direct descendant of Bishop’s Patent Floating Derrick, which is mentioned prominently in my forthcoming book, The Heroic Age of Diving. I’m always impressed when engineers try to do something big that has never been done before, and that is what these two vessels have in common.

Here’s a video of it’s first lift job at the Tappan Zee site:


I recently learned that the Left Coast Lifter‘s first job out in San Francisco was not bridge construction, but salvage of a sunken tugboat. That puts it right in line with the intent of the Bishop derricks I mention in my book.

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