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Google’s mystery barge caught in Coast Guard red tape

google barge caught coast guard red tape
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google’s plans to build an “interactive space” on a barge in the San Francisco Bay have been forced to drop anchor – and everything else – thanks to an investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies, reports CNet. And the regulatory red tape has apparently put the building project on hold until late spring 2014.

The delay, which is self-imposed, seems to come as a result of Coast Guard demands concerning the construction of the floating building’s interior, according to the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC).

According to Brad McCrea, the BCDC’s director of regulatory affairs, “senior” staff members of BCDC “have learned that the barge is still under construction, albeit in a hiatus, and likely will not be completed until late spring 2014.”

BCDC has also said that Google has not yet received a permit to dock the barge in San Francisco, which it may need to do in order to comply with state law, CNet reports. At the moment, the barge is moored at Treasure Island, which is located in the San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland. BCDC has begun an investigation into Google’s need for a permit, which is expects to compete this month, according to McCrea.

Google’s barge project, which also includes construction aboard another barge off the coast of Portland, Maine, became an object of mystery for the tech press due to an extended silence by the tech giant about its plans for the structure. Even now, despite Google’s attempts to make the space as high-end showrooms for its various technologies, the ultimate purpose of the vessels is not yet known – even to Google.

“Google is still exploring options for how to use the barge when it is completed,” said McCrea.

Whatever Google has up its sleeve, it seems as though we’ll just have to wait until after winter before anyone knows just what these barges will become.

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Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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