SHELBY — Traffic downtown was disrupted Tuesday evening after a truck in a convoy carrying blades for a wind turbine got hung up on the hill just west of the Ashland Railway tracks in the center of town.
“We basically had Main Street closed for almost six hours,” Police Chief Charles Roub said.
Traffic was blocked at Ohio 39 (Mansfield Avenue) and High School Avenue and had to be rerouted.
Around 5:30 p.m., three trucks owned by W.C. McQuade Trucking, enroute to Celina, made a left turn onto Ohio 96 from Ohio 39, “and immediately ran into a problem,” Roub said.
“That (railroad) crossing is at the top of a hill. So as a truck crosses over, as the front of the truck goes down the hill there’s not enough clearance underneath,” the chief said.
Emergency personnel said the loads were huge — each 29-foot truck carrying a 144-foot blade behind it.
The three blades are designed to bolt together on a hub for a wind turbine, Roub said.
The first truck in the convoy made it down the hill with no problem. “The second one tried to go across the tracks and got stuck,” bottoming out as it went down the incline, Roub said.
Emergency personnel used blocks of wood one by one to lift the tires of the truck up over the tracks, and used a front end loader to help get the third truck and trailer through.
The third truck sustained some damage, the police chief said. “It was a mess,” he added.
Local traffic was rerouted and Ashland Railway freight train service through the area was shut down.
Emergency personnel were at the scene until 11:40 p.m.
After their oversized loads made it over the tracks, drivers had to park at the Shelby Airport for the night since the permit they were using to transport oversized loads expired at dark, firefighters said.
Roub said today he intended to contact the Ohio Department of Transportation to find out why the three trucks were routed under their heavy load permits off U.S. 30 onto Ohio 39 and Ohio 96, through downtown Shelby, then back onto U.S. 30.