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Big load to cause big delays on local highways next week

Avoid travel on 155 and 174 Monday night and Wednesday morning

 


[Update] The company planning the move of the big transformer has delayed the move after "discrepancies" were noted during a "weigh and measure" session with the state Department of Transportation, the company said. No word yet on a new schedule.

Original story:

Drivers probably should not plan to travel on SR 155 late Monday night/Tuesday morning, nor early Wednesday morning when a huge piece of equipment will be blocking traffic up to 90 minutes at a time.

An Oregon company will be moving a million pounds along the route from Coulee City to Grand Coulee, then up SR 174 on Wednesday morning to an electrical “substation” just north of Grand Coulee, said Mark Richardson, project manager for Omega Morgan in Hillsboro, Oregon.

The payload is a large transformer being shipped in on an emergency basis after a “catastrophic failure” the Bureau of Reclamation suffered a few weeks ago, Richardson said.

The transformer will be moved from Coulee City on SR 155 Monday night from 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., then park for the day south of Electric City. Then at 1 a.m. Wednesday morning it will begin the final couple miles from there, up SR 174 to the substation on the right side of the highway just north of Grand Coulee, arriving at about 5 a.m.

The payload and the vehicle moving it will be 346 feet long and 20 feet wide. Its height will range from 18.5 feet to 21 feet; it will rise as axles are added for crossing bridges. The rig has 32 axles.

The transformer is being shipped by rail from Vancouver, Washington to Coulee City.

The move was fast-tracked on an emergency basis and took about a month to plan, Richardson said.

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