CLINTON – On his way from Decatur to Bloomington on Thursday afternoon, Robert Madding saw something that he had never seen before: A 300-foot section of a wind farm tower had fallen off its trailer and was lying in the right-hand lane of U.S. 51 about two miles north of Clinton.
Madding was recording video with his cellphone as workers discussed options on how to lift the load back onto the trailer.
“I say just cut a hole in and make it into a tunnel,” Madding said.
Traffic was restricted to one lane for most of the day on Thursday and then, eventually re-routed so crews with heavy duty towing trucks could lift the tower back onto its trailer. All traffic was flowing again on U.S. 51, Illinois 54 and Illinois 10 by 6:30 p.m.
The scene is less than half a mile from Trinity Structural Towers, where the load originated. The company could not be reached for comment.
“Apparently they just didn’t get it tied up properly,” said DeWitt County Chief Deputy Sheriff Mike Walker.
Deputies were called to the scene to assist with traffic control. The Illinois State Police and Illinois Department of Transportation then took command of the scene.
“There may have been some mechanical problems, but there were no injuries,” said state police Master Sgt. Mike Ross. “To fix this, though, you need some heavy duty equipment.”
There were four heavy duty wrecker services at the scene on Thursday afternoon. The entire northbound lane was closed for several hours.
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