Pedestal Crane Barge
to Protect Hydroelectric
Power Plants from Ice Damage


When the wicked winter weather begins to blow off Lake Erie, a shipbuilder and a crane company in Cleveland, Ohio, and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) will be glad they cooperatively commissioned and built a barge-mounted pedestal crane. The crane is the latest weapon for the Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom Operations in Buffalo, New York, designed to help reduce potential damage to hydroelectric power plants caused by Lake Erie’s inevitable ice.

The NYPA asked Great Lakes Shipyard, a member of The Great Lakes Group in Cleveland, to fabricate and deliver a new 24 m by 10 m pedestal crane barge for the ice boom operation. The shipyard turned to ALL Erection & Crane Rental, a company with a fleet also headquartered in Cleveland.

First, the shipyard purchased a new Terex HP80 72.5 t capacity pedestal-mounted crane from ALL, who is the exclusive dealer of Terex Cranes in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The 27.2 t crane body was lifted by a 226 t assist crane, placed and mounted to the barge, and assembled by ALL’s technicians on a specially built pedestal, custom fabricated by Terex. Then it was delivered across Lake Erie to Buffalo by the Great Lakes Towing Company and put into service on September 10, 2010.

The crane barge has become a key part of the annual installation and maintenance of the Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom, owned by NYPA and Ontario Power Generation and in use since 1964.

The 2.7 km-long ice boom is a series of floating steel pontoon strings, each 150 m long and anchored to the bottom of the lake by steel cables. The boom spans the mouth of the Niagara River at Lake Erie from Buffalo Harbor to the Canadian shore and prevents Lake Erie ice from running into the river, thus reducing the likelihood of ice blockages that can cause flooding and reduce water flow to NYPA hydroelectric power plant intakes.

The boom is installed in Lake Erie around December 16 and removed in spring – a process now facilitated by the crane barge from Cleveland.

Source: ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp.

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