The Port of Longviewâ€™s 35-year-old Krupp container crane, which never attracted as much business as the port had hoped, is coming down.
Port commissioners declared the crane surplus last month, and workers have already removed the â€œbuss bar,â€ which held the craneâ€™s electrical system. The rest of the crane will come down when the port finds a buyer or sells it for scrap, port spokeswoman Amy Fischer said.
â€œIf they could sell it as is, as a crane, that would be great,â€ Fischer said.
Thatâ€™s unlikely, though, said Doug Averett, port director of terminal operations: â€œItâ€™s so old. Plus it runs on rail, not on rubber tires.â€
The port built the crane in 1979 hoping to capture the some of the growing container ship traffic headed up the Columbia River. While the crane initially attracted some business, it soon died out and most of the container ship traffic ended up going to Portland. There were concerns about delays if the portâ€™s single container crane broke down.
â€œRather than trying to invest in other container cranes, the port decided â€˜weâ€™ll keep this for some spot cargoes that may come our way, â€™â€ Averett said.
The port fitted buckets to the crane that enabled it to handle some bulk cargoes in the mid 1990s. Eventually, though, the port purchased two Liebherr cranes, which made the old crane obsolete.
â€œItâ€™s tired. Itâ€™s just time for it to go,â€ Averett said.