A pair of newly acquired port cranes make their way through Puget Sound off Mukilteo Tuesday after a 1,400-mile ocean journey from Los Angeles. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

A pair of newly acquired port cranes make their way through Puget Sound off Mukilteo Tuesday after a 1,400-mile ocean journey from Los Angeles. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Two big cranes took the slow boat from California to Everett

The new additions to the waterfront will be installed later this year at the refurbished South Terminal.

EVERETT — A pair of colossal cargo cranes on a barge were docked at the Port of Everett Tuesday morning after a 1,400-mile cruise from Los Angeles.

The Michele Foss, the 130-foot tug boat that towed them, nudged the barge into port about 6 a.m.

Each crane stands about 214 feet tall and has a movable boom, spokeswoman Catherine Soper said in an email.

Weather and tides permitting, the first cranes could be off-loaded from as soon as Thursday.

Workers will use a giant rolling dolly that has 320 pickup-truck-size tires to off-load one crane at a time from the barge to the dock, Soper said.

For now, they’ll be stored upland for maintenance and upgrades.

The port purchased them as surplus from EverPort Terminal, which handles containers 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.

The cranes were due to dock last week, but the tug and its cargo encountered 60 mph winds and 12-foot seas north of San Francisco last week, delaying their arrival in Everett.

The harbor cranes are destined to become the seaport’s second pair of workhorses at the South Terminal dock, joining the Pacific Terminal’s blue cargo cranes.

They’ll be installed when a $37 million project to upgrade the South Terminal, the port’s largest container dock, is completed later this year.

That work involves strengthening a 700-foot dock so it can accommodate larger ships and heavier cargo, including aerospace components for the Boeing 777X.

Together with other improvements, the project is part of a $57 million upgrade to Everett’s waterfront.

By export value, the seaport, a natural deep-water port, is a major force in Puget Sound shipping, booking $30 billion in exports in 2016.

A large percentage of the cargo that passes through the seaport supplies the local aerospace industry, including Boeing.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

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