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Ice Harbor Dam gets New Gantry Crane

by John Trumbo
The News Tribune, December 7, 2011

Ice Harbor Dam nears its 50th year of operation. Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River has a new crane, the first since the project opened 50 years ago.

Inspectors and Army Corps of Engineers officials watched closely Tuesday as the gantry crane lifted increasingly large weights until hitting the 50-ton mark.

The new $1.8 million crane, built entirely in Washington through a contract with Advanced Crane Technologies from Reading, Pa. It designed the crane but subcontracted out component and structural fabrication.

Thompson Metal Fabrication in Vancouver built the 40-foot-tall four-posted crane, and Atomic Electric of West Richland did all the electrical work.

It took 21 months to build the crane.

The new crane, rated for 40 tons of lifting capacity, replaces the dam's original crane's 35-ton lifting capacity.

Roger Golladay, Ice Harbor's operations project manger, said the new crane will lift stoplogs used to block water flows at the downstream side so maintenance can be done on the dam's interior and to service each of the dam's six turbine units.

The new crane is positioned on rails that run almost 600 feet of the width of the dam, providing access for lifting all of the heavy steel stoplogs, which are typically 33 feet wide, about 2 feet thick and up to 9 feet high.

The crane, which weighs 58 tons, has two hoists, and is controlled by an operator who sits in a glass enclosure suspended in the middle of the crane.

Golladay said the new crane is beginning service just as the dam reaches its 50th anniversary.

"If we take good care of it, Ice Harbor will continue providing power, navigation, irrigation and recreation benefits to the region for years to come," he said.

Golladay said a 50th anniversary celebration for the dam, which was dedicated May 9, 1962, by Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, is being planned for mid-June.

John Trumbo
Ice Harbor Dam gets New Gantry Crane
The News Tribune, December 7, 2011

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