EVERETT — The Port of Everett, ever so slowly, began moving a massive crane Friday afternoon from the barge on which it sailed in to the port’s South Terminal dock. The 500-foot move was expected to take from three to six hours, even slower than the local rush hour crawl.
Everett-based Nordholm, a heavy equipment mover, brought a team of workers and 42 super-sized dollies to gently lift the crane from its berth and move it a 10th of a mile up the dock.
Each dolly has eight pickup-truck-sized wheels and an independent hydraulic system. The entire apparatus is powered by two diesel engines.
The two cargo cranes are to be installed at the South Terminal later this year.
At 214 feet, the new cargo cranes are about 20 feet taller than the existing duo at Pacific Terminal, and their movable booms are 40 feet longer.
That greater reach will allow the new cranes to load and unload cargo on wider ships and provide greater lift capacity, said Catherine Soper, Port of Everett spokeswoman.
Each new crane has a 50-long-ton lift capacity (a long ton is 2,240 pounds), while the cranes at Pacific Terminal can heft 40 long tons.
“In this case, bigger is necessary to keep our region competitive,” Soper said.
The increase in height, reach and lift positions the seaport to more efficiently handle heavier cargo, including oversized containers carrying parts for the new Boeing 777X. The port can accept 777X components now, but not efficiently, Soper said.
Larger ships carrying those components can tie up, but they jut out into the waterway. And their cargo sometimes is near the weight limit for existing cranes, she said.
The second crane is expected to be offloaded Sunday.
Both will be stored upland at the dock for a few months. They won’t be installed until a $37 million project to upgrade the South Terminal dock is completed this December. That work strengthens the 700-foot dock so it can better accommodate the larger ships and heavier cargo.
The South Terminal is the largest of the port’s docks by footprint, but it is not strong enough for modern cargo operations, Soper said. “When it is strengthened, the wharf — paired with the two cranes — will bring the dock back into full use to support trade and jobs,” Soper said.
The port purchased the two cranes as surplus from EverPort Terminal, a firm that operates a container terminal at the Port of Los Angeles.
They cost $1 each, but barging them from L.A. to Everett cost more than $5 million, the Port of Everett said.
Each crane weighs about 2.4 million pounds — more than an oil rig.
They arrived at the port this week after being barged from Los Angeles.
Janice Podsada; email@example.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods
Pacific Terminal Cranes:
Height: 197 feet from dock to apex
Gauge (distance between the crane rails): 50 feet
Boom length: 275 feet
Lift capacity: 40 long tons each
New South Terminal Cranes:
Height: 214 feet from dock to apex
Gauge (distance between the crane rails): 100 feet
Boom length: 315 feet
Lift capacity: 50 long tons each