From a distance it could be mistaken for a milk truck. But its 220,000 lb. load is actually part of a wind turbine from Maine bound for Utah.
In October the state issued a 6 month permit to a North Dakota transportation company called E.W. Wylie, allowing it to truck 85 loads across the state.
“We just try to keep people moving around them as best we can,” Caledonia County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Hartwell said.
E.W. Wylie pays the Caledonia County Sheriff’s Department to escort its trucks and the state gets $35 per load. A paltry sum given the headaches, says DMV Commissioner Robert Ide.
“It’s been a real problem for us because we would say the carrier has been somewhat careless in their driving and they have damaged some equipment along the way,” Ide said.
The turbines cross into Vermont from New Hampshire on Interstate 93, follow 91 to St. Johnsbury, Rt. 2 through Danville, Rt. 15 to Essex, south to 2A where they picks up 89 and exit on 189 south. From there they head down Rt. 7 to 22A in Vergennes, finally in Fair Haven they merge onto Rt. 4 and exit Vermont.
“That’s where New York will allow them to enter New York State,” Ide said.
Oversized load is an understatement. Massachusetts said no to these turbine truck loads. Their height exceeds what’s allowed on the Mass Pike. Engineers deemed Vermont the next best alternative. But to protect our roads strict travel rules were established. The trucks can only travel during the day– not on weekends, during rush hour or in inclement weather. But the restrictions couldn’t prevent one turbine from striking a railroad bridge in Vergennes and two others from getting stuck on an exit ramp.
“They are gigantic super loads. I mean there are going to be issues,” Hartwell said.
Sixty-one loads have made the nearly 200-mile trek across the state. Now E.W. Wylie says it needs more time. Bad weather held the company up. The DMV granted a 6-month permit extension but required the company post a half million dollar bond to pay municipalities and the state for damage done. Commissioner Ide has one end goal in mind: “That we get the 85th load out of this state and that we say sayonara to this company from North Dakota.”
But that farewell could still take months given Vermont’s unpredictable weather.
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