Friday, May 25, 2007

This is not an isolated occurence

Is legislative oversight of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's role in this event too much to ask?

Lost load snarls traffic in Falls

A steel cylinder weighing more than a herd of elephants tumbled off a truck here Thursday and snarled traffic all day, prompting state officials to halt all such future shipments.

Bound for a wind farm in Iowa, the 55-foot section of windmill fell onto the road shortly before 10 a.m. as startled onlookers watched in the center of the village's downtown business district.

"It just went 'thud,' " eyewitness Joyce Block said.

The colossal cargo came to a rest at Main St. and Appleton Ave., both state highways, where it blocked traffic throughout the day until about 9:25 p.m. and left downtown merchants cut off from their customers.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation had begun issuing permits for an expected 140 shipments of windmill parts continuing throughout the summer. A handful or so had already passed through the village in recent days without incident.

But village officials interceded after Thursday's mishap and persuaded the state to suspend all permits issued to a trucking company for Gamesa Wind US, a manufacturer and operator of wind energy systems.

What the article does not say is that the trucking company does not choose their own route. The routes are assigned by Wisconsin's own DOT. The DOT's priorities seem to be to route these oversized and overweight loads through areas where the greatest chance of an incident exists.

When the new reactor head for the Kewaunee Nuclear Plant was transported through the state three years ago, the DOT ran the load through the area near Wildcat Mountain State Park in the Southwest part of the state. The turns were so sharp and grade so steep on the route that the truck hauling the load could not complete the trip without help from a pair of additional diesel tractors.


Dad29 said...

DOT maintains that the route was selected bearing in mind the overpass heights and the bridge-strengths.

Obviously, they don't think too much of Hy. 151 from Manitowoc SW to Madistan, then around Madistan on the belt back to Hy 151.

Glad you posted this--I had the same idea.

Natch, I'll steal it and post...

Aaron said...

The fan blades are on their way now.