The newly installed Liebherr crane will lift the Maid of the Mist boats from the Niagara River on Thursday, Oct. 31, at 9 a.m., moving the vessels onto the new drydock facility that was built at the former Schoellkopf site in Niagara Falls.
At the end of each season, the crane will lift the 600-passenger Maid of the Mist boats onto dry land for off-season maintenance. Each spring, the reverse will happen, with the Maids returned to the waters of the Niagara River for the start of the season. The Liebherr crane has a lift capacity of 430,000 pounds, with a reach of 78 feet.
Liebherr, based in Nenzing, Austria, constructed the crane in Rostock, Germany, and Sunderland, England. It was consolidated on board ship in Antwerp, Belgium, where it sailed to Hamilton, Ontario. The pieces were then driven across the Peace Bridge to the Schoellkopf site and lowered into the Niagara Gorge where they were put in place.
Work on the Maid of the Mist maintenance facility will continue, with a projected completion of the third quarter of 2014.
"We're grateful to Gov. Cuomo, New York State Power Authority, New York State Parks and other elected officials and state agencies who have supported this project and helped us to get to this point," said Christopher Glynn, president of the Maid of the Mist Corp. "I also want to acknowledge the great work of our team led by LPCiminelli and Parsons Brinkerhoff, as well as the local building trades who worked tirelessly to meet today's major milestone in our project."