WEST SACRAMENTO, CA - Workers at the port of West Sacramento have a busy few weeks ahead of them, as they prepare to construct a new $5 million mobile crane at the port. The parts arrived on a cargo ship from Austria on Monday.
The crane is not only expected to reduce the amount of truck traffic on Interstate 80 and lead to more jobs in the area, but is also expected to allow the port to do something that it has never been able to do before -- handle container cargo.
Up to this point, the port has only been able to handle bulk and bagged cargo, such as rice, fertilizer, lumber, wood, and cement. The new crane is expected to change that, allowing for much larger shipments.
The crane will be more than 100 feet tall and will be able to lift 124 tons (274,000 pounds) when it is put together over the next several weeks.
Gene Endicott, who is handling communications for the project, says the crane will increase the variety of cargo coming through. With more cargo, comes more competition, and with that, brings the potential for more jobs being created in Sacramento's ports and goods industry.
Tuesday morning, the crane's componentsents were unloaded from the cargo ship.
The project is being funded as part of a $30 million grant from federal stimulus money.
The crane is one part of the new Marine Highway Container Barge Service, operating between the ports of Oakland, West Sacramento and Stockton. The service is scheduled to launch later this year.
By being able to haul containers, bigger shipments will be able to be moved in and out, and in turn, will hopefully reduce the amount of highway truck traffic.
Construction of the crane is expected to take several weeks.