A half-dozen trucks loaded with wind turbine components have been sidelined in Silverton for more than a week, unable to deliver their oversized loads to Briscoe Wind construction sites due to muddy roads.
Dozens more are sitting idle in roadside parks, truck stops and other locations as almost daily showers and thunderstorms have turned previously dusty country lanes into impassible quagmires for the hefty long-haul units.
“We probably have six or seven trucks in town right now,” Briscoe County Judge Wayne Nance said Monday. “And according to (company representative) Jerry Leatherman, in a few days there probably will be at least 70 loaded trucks waiting to get in and unload, and they will be scattered from here to their point of origin.”
Nance saw as many as five or six trucks loaded with turbine blades, tower sections and other components at various roadside parks and truck stops while returning to Silverton from Fort Worth a few days ago.
On Monday morning, several loaded trucks were parked on the street south of the Briscoe Courthouse and Silverton’s Fire Department. Others were outside Silverton’s Allsup’s as well as elsewhere around town, including the Methodist Church.
“It looks like some have pulled out and might now be able to unload,” Nance said Monday morning. “But it looks like others are pulling in. I guess they’re just moving up in line.”
According to the Caprock Courier newspaper, the stranded trucks are hauling turbine components manufactured by GE Wind Energy. Turbine hubs from a plant in Pensacola, Florida, and blades from Grand Forks, North Dakota, have been stranded on trucks in and round Silverton for almost two weeks. Base sections from a plant in Newton, Iowa, have been sidelined for at least a week.
“Some of the truck drivers are staying in their trucks, while others are staying at to a motel in Tulia at night and coming back during the day, so they are ready to take off when they get the go-ahead,” Nance said. The laundromat at Silver Wind RV Park is seeing heavy use, he notes, with business booming at Allsup’s and Silverton’s two restaurants.
Nance adds that the truckers and everyone associated with the Briscoe Wind project have been welcome guests. “They’re good people,” he said. “Some of them helped the girls unload their trucks at Allsup’s, just to pass the time. They are very nice people to work with, and are good people to have around.”
A Silverton City Hall representative said Silverton might soon have two more RV/trailer parks to help provide housing for wind farm construction crews. Those parks are being developed by Dewey Estes and J.D. Rampley.
In all, 82 wind turbines will be constructed along State Highway 207 from a mile north of Ranch Road 145 to Country Road A, and from Country Road 10 to County Road 15. The work is being done by Wanzek Construction for Capital Dynamics, reports the Caprock Courier.
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