DERBY – Green Mountain Power officials will coordinate their plans to truck Lowell Mountain turbine sections through Derby Center with local fire and school officials. Trucking begins in July.
GMP officials told the Derby Select Board Monday that the company wants to ship the parts by rail to Island Pond and then truck them through Charleston and Derby on Route 105 to Interstate 91 and then to Route 58 from the Orleans exit in Barton.
Four-to-six loads a day would roll through the towns to Lowell, for a total of 126 loads, GMP spokesman Dave Coriell and Lowell wind project manager Charles Pughe said.
The loads are expected to begin the week of July 16 and finish by mid-September.
Each town would receive details the night before about the next day’s planned deliveries. “They are pretty strict in Vermont,” Coriell said.
Selectman Beula-Jean Shattuck asked GMP to coordinate everything with the local schools to avoid having buses and trucks on the streets at the same time.
Derby Zoning Administrator Bob Kelley said fire chief Craig Ellam wants to know when the large truck loads would roll through town so he could plan alternate routes in case of fire.
Coriell and Pughe said they would contact both Ellam and the schools. Each town has particular traffic needs, they said. For example, Barton wants to avoid shipments during end of shift at the Ethan Allen plant in Orleans.
GMP officials have met with Island Pond, Charleston and Barton select boards.
The longest of the loads would be the blades at 179 feet, they said. Those would be trucked through using a rig with a driveable rear axle.
A similar operation shipped loads to the Sheffield wind project through Lyndonville and Barton village without problems.
GMP is hiring a trucking firm that checked the route and confirmed that the loads could make the turns in Derby Center and at the on-ramp to reach I-91, which is considered the tightest turn on the route.
Coriell and Pughe talked about the truck route during a meeting dominated by another wind project, two turbines proposed for Derby farm fields.
The truck route has the approval of the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, they said. They have asked state regulators on the Vermont Public Service Board to approve the new route.
The weight of the loads are spread out over multiple-axles to reduce the impact on roads.
GMP had originally intended to truck the loads on I-91 from out-of-state, but opted for a rail route that cuts down on traffic on state roads.
The loads are restricted to daytime during the work week and cannot go on weekends or state holidays. The trucks cannot travel during bad weather. The trucks would either not go out in bad weather or pull off on the interstate to await a passing storm, Coriell and Pughe said. The drivers would not stop on the smaller roads.
Selectman Karen Jenne asked for a copy of the truck company’s insurance and asked the GMP officials to also meet with the village of Derby Center trustees.
The village has water and sewer lines under the road, she said.
Pughe said GMP would be responsible to repair any road that is damaged or affected by the loads.
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