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TZ Bridge Blog: Mission Accomplished
Posted February 2nd, 2014

What to do when the river freezes due to plunging temperatures, and ice skating’s not allowed? Suspend river work on the bridge replacement project and wait for an enormous crane! And while yet another dusting of snow last week didn’t freeze the Hudson shore-to-shore, it made for a pretty sight.

A Model T Ford crosses the Hudson River between Nyack and Tarrytown (1920)./ Courtesy of Historical Society of the Nyacks

A Model T Ford crosses the Hudson River between Nyack and Tarrytown./ Courtesy of Historical Society of the Nyacks

That said, New York Harbor was the place for excitement, cameras, and (perhaps) a sigh of relief — it’s finally here — when the I Lift NY arrived January 30. I’m guessing the relief part.

Nowhere among the day’s pictures did I see any like the first three snapped by waterblogger Will Van Dorp; he captured I Lift NY‘s approach on the aquatic horizon, led by tug boat Lauren Foss, adding drama to suspense. Tug boat Iver Foss followed.

A New York state of mind is also apparent in these pictures taken by photographer Phil Little with the Freedom Tower and Statue of Liberty background.

Courtesy of Phil Little

Courtesy of Phil Little

Now that it’s safely here, “ . . . I Lift NY will undergo preparation for the project at a private facility in The Port of New York and New Jersey, where it will remain until it’s brought to the site of the site of the New NY Bridge this spring,” project officials said.

For those of you who are curious about its tug boat escorts, Van Dorp provides details:

Both tugboats are operated by Foss Marine Holdings, a company that traces its history back to Tacoma, WA, in 1889, and a Norwegian immigrant named Thea Foss, said to be inspiration for “tugboat Annie.”

Tug boat Lauren Foss (extreme left) towing the crane on day one of its 6000-mile voyage (actually 5224 nautical miles = 6011 statute miles)/Courtesy of Capt. Terry O’Neil

Tug boat Lauren Foss (extreme left) towing the crane on day one of its 6000-mile voyage (actually 5224 nautical miles = 6011 statute miles)/Courtesy of Capt. Terry O’Neil

Lauren Foss is 141’ long and rated at 7200 horsepower, making it among the most powerful tugboats to operate on the Hudson. Iver Foss is 91’ long with 2400 horsepower, and is tethered to the stern of the crane barge to serve as a rudder to the barge.

After delivering the crane, Lauren will not remain here. Likely it will steam to Philadelphia to tow the mothballed aircraft carrier USS Forrestal to Texas to be scrapped.

Cool, huh? I’d like to know what you think.

Reporter Janie Rosman blogs about the Tappan Zee Bridge at http://nykeypad.wordpress.com/. Contact her at lecriver@yahoo.com or Twitter: nykeypad.

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