Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 13, 2013

Marine crane delivery marks Maid site progress


Niagara Gazette — That contract — which was negotiated without an open bidding process — was amended to include terms under which the Maid would be able to use the site for boat storage while also “enhancing” the historic site. The company also agreed to pay an additional $105 million to the state over the remaining 29 years of the contract.

Vinny Jowdy is a project manager for LP Ciminelli, the construction company hired to oversee the work at the site.

He said the crane will be lowered into the gorge in pieces by the giant triple-eight ringer crane that was installed at the edge of the gorge this spring.

The marine crane, painted turquoise to match the color of the water in the gorge, weighs 157 tons in total.

Jowdy expects the components of the crane to be lowered into the gorge by the end of September and for the machine to be ready to pull boats out of the water by the beginning of November.

The concrete pads where the boats will rest during the winter have been poured, he added.

“What we’re doing currently is basically filling in and pouring the rest of the concrete,” Jowdy said.

Jowdy said his crews have been working around the clock at times to ensure that the job is finished before winter hits.

“All jobs have deadlines and from the client’s point of view they’re all critical,” Jowdy said. “But, as kind of necessary as this, I haven’t (had as critical a deadline).”

The Maid of the Mist and state and federal agencies are currently fighting two legal battles over the use of the site.

Hornblower has sued in an effort to reopen the Maid’s contract with state parks to a bidding process arguing, amongst other reasons, that the new terms to the deal constitute a new contract and should be subject to the state’s competitive bidding laws.

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