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July 22, 2010

Bristol Harbor Group provides design for NYPA floating crane

Bristol Harbor Group, Inc., Bristol. R.I, has reached the final design phase for an 80 ft x 34 ft x 5 ft pedestal crane barge (or floating crane) design for the New York Power Authority, (NYPA). The unit will be used for the authority's Niagara River ice boom operations in Buffalo, N.Y.

The pedestal crane barge is being built by Great Lakes Shipyard, a member of The Great Lakes Group, at its new state-of-the-art fabrication shop on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, under a nearly $1.9 million contracted awarded by NYPA earlier this year. The contractt includes the installation of a new Terex 80-ton pedestal mounted lattice boom crane, a 3-drum deck winch manufactured by Eagle Hoist & Winch Company, and a CCTV system.

The barge design also includes a deck house, electrical and navigation systems, spuds and spud wells, a boat hoist and outfitting.

On completion, the unit will be delivered to NYPA's Buffalo ice boom operations dock by the Great Lakes Towing Company, another member of the Great Lakes Group.

As well as providing the design, Bristol Harbor Design Group, has been retained to act as NYPA's representatives during construction.

Bristol Harbor began the design process by conducting an initial on-site investigation of the ice boom, and the existing ice boom work barge, HAVASU - currently in use as a work platform for NYPA personnel during install & removal of the Lake Erie ice boom. This investigation included a detailed review of the HAVASU, current retrieval and removal procedures, and deviations considered for the new barge.

Throughout each of the design phases, special considerations were taken to ensure environmental sustainability of the new work barge, as well as the barge's necessity to operate in icing conditions. As an example, the thickness of the side shell and bottom shell plating was increased in order to protect against damage during ice operations.

Bristol Harbor Group also relocated the spud wells inboard from the side shell (where they currently exist on the HAVASU) to aid in the flow of ice around the barge and pushboat.

A combination of flanged plate and channel extrusions was used for the main transverse framing in order to reduce the overall weight of the barge, while keeping construction costs down. The bow and stern rakes represented a particular challenge in the design due to the relatively small depth of the barge. Bristol Harbor Group opted to design four swash bulkheads (two on either side of the centerline bulkhead) to support the rake ends and the deck given the limited depth. The arrangement will both result in easier fit up during construction, and provide better support for the bow when the barge is being pushed through the ice.

Working with the NYPA officials and work crew, Bristol Harbor Group incorporated several key elements in the design of the new work barge, including the pedestal mounted Terex HC-80 crane with a 50 foot lattice boom. Additionally, the barge will be receiving a new E&K three drum winch. For crew comfort, a permanent deck house was added to the barge with a small electrical distribution center and space for a small 5 kW portable generator. Bristol Harbor Group designed the vessel's structure to exceed ABS requirements and added a corrosion allowance to provide for a long and productive service life. Expected service date for the barge is November 2010.

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