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State, Manitowoc leaders celebrate completion of massive Navy crane

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 1:35 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 29, 2021 at 5:42 PM CDT
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MANITOWOC, Wis. (WBAY) - The Port of Manitowoc was used for building and launching submarines in World War II. Now it houses a massive crane that’s part of several projects helping the U.S. stay globally competitive.

Gov. Tony Evers helped celebrate the completion of the Navy crane in the Port of Manitowoc Thursday as state and business leaders gathered to promote infrastructure projects happening along the harbor and their economic benefits.

The 2.7 million pound crane will handle 140-ton loads at a U.S. Navy base. The finished crane will be placed on a barge and transported through the Saint Lawrence Seaway before reaching its destination in Virginia.

The crane was designed and assembled by Finnish company Konecranes. Components were made by Broadwind Heavy Fabrications of Manitowoc.

This project was a boost to the local economy. Ninety percent of the equipment used was produced in the Badger State.

“Generations of folks in Wisconsin have worked hard to build our rail lines, our roads, and our harbors, and we’re proud of the multimodal infrastructure we have in our state,” said Gov. Evers. “This project with the help of our Harbor Assistance Program and the expertise and engineering of Konecranes and Broadwind connects the dots and will secure jobs, create new jobs, and bring a major source of economic development not only to the Manitowoc region but our entire state.”

“By locating to this area, we created multiple permanent positions for people to occupy in our company,” Steve Waisanen of Konecranes said.

Evers touted how state investments made this possible. Part of the funding for the project came from $3.5 million in WisDOT Harbor Assistance Program grants in 2020 and 2021. Gov. Evers is proposing adding another $15 million to the grant program to support Wisconsin’s other waterways in his latest budget. The state has 29 commercial ports for maritime freights.

“We’ve got the two Great lakes and we’ve got the mighty Mississippi, and they are incredibly important to our economy and our culture here in the state of Wisconsin,” Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said.

Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels also talked about the crane project last December on Action 2 News at 4:30.

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