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Windmill section destined for North Iowa snarls traffic in Wisconsin  

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (AP) – A 62-ton steel cylinder that was destined to become a section of a windmill tower tumbled off a truck at an intersection in this Milwaukee suburb, snarling traffic for hours and prompting state officials to halt such shipments.

“It just went ‘thud,’ ” eyewitness Joyce Block said of the cargo that blocked the intersection of Main Street and Appleton Avenue on Thursday from about 10 a.m. to 9:25 p.m.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation had begun issuing permits for shipments of windmill parts for a wind farm being developed in northern Iowa near Joice.

But Menomonee Falls Village Administrator Mark Fitzgerald said he would insist that the state find a different route.

“It absolutely has created an impact,” he said, noting the disruption caused Thursday to motorists and downtown businesses.

Michael Peck, a spokesman for Gamesa Wind USA, a manufacturer and operator or wind energy systems, said it appeared that the steel cylinder broke loose from the truck because of what he termed a defect in the mechanism intended to hold the cargo in place.

He said he was grateful that no one was hurt, and was unsure how his company would respond to Wisconsin’s action temporarily halting shipment of its products.

A spokesman for trucking firm, identified as Anderson Trucking Service Inc. of St. Cloud, Minn., did not immediately return a call today from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Kathleen Nichols, permit unit supervisor for the state transportation department, said the company was ordered to halt all its windmill shipments.

“I think we’ll be able to work it out,” she said. “And if we can’t, we’ll say back to the company, ‘You’ve got to find some other way to Iowa.’ ”


25 May 2007

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