Manitowoc’s Big Blue Crane in Wisconsin’s Top 8 Coolest Things

MANITOWOC – You all know the giant blue crane built in Manitowoc that barged to an east coast naval port is super cool. Now it’s time to bug your phone or laptop and vote on it.

The 195-foot-tall crane, built by Broadwind Heavy Fabrications and known as “Big Blue” on social media, is now among the final eight products in the Coolest Things Made in Wisconsin contest sponsored by Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce. You can help get him into the bottom four by visiting

In this round, Big Blue takes on Ashland-based Absolut Manufacturing’s WiNDR, a machine that makes medical, disinfectant, cleaning and industrial wipes.

Voting takes place until October 5. The winner of the contest will be announced on October 14. Over 100,000 votes have been cast since the contest launched on September 15th.

Other Wisconsin companies and products still in the running are BRP US Inc.’s Sea-Doo Switch, BenShot Aircraft Propeller Drinking Glasses, Mercury Marine’s 600hp Verado V12 Outboard Motor, Glazing from Kwik Trip and the Cat Electric Rope Shovel from Caterpillar.

RELATED:Manitowoc-made large blue crane heads safely to US Navy shipyard in Maine

Big Blue was designed, manufactured, machined, painted, assembled and delivered by Broadwind for Konecranes. The 2.7million pound crane was barged to Portsmith, New Hampshire over Memorial Day weekend, with about 6,000 people watching it leave Manitowoc to make its way through the Great Lakes to to the Atlantic Ocean.

Big Blue is expanding heavy-load lifting capacity to all dry docks in the shipyard, according to Brendan Goodwin, head of the branch lifting and handling department at Portsmouth Shipyard in New Hampshire. It increases the scope of the overhaul and modernization work of the submarines carried out on the site.

OTHER NEWS:Burger Boat Company in Manitowoc builds 92-foot icebreaker ferry to navigate Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

OTHER NEWS:What to do when 3,000 hamburger patties don’t show up? School districts face food shortages linked to COVID-19

The crane built at Manitowoc by Konecranes and Broadwind Heavy Fabrications awaits its move on Saturday, May 29, 2021, to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Construction of the crane took about a year and was made possible by a $ 3.75 million grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Port Assistance Program. The improvements allowed Konecranes and Broadwind Heavy Fabrications to assemble, test and transfer the crane. More contracts of this type are expected over the next decade.

Streetwise finds the variety of these coolest things interesting. How do bakery products compare to boat engines? But it’s very cool to see all the innovation and hard work happening all over Badger State!

Do you have a tip, question or comment for Streetwise Manitowoc? Contact reporter Patti Zarling at 920-606-2586 or email [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @PGPattiZarling.

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