A portion of U.S. Route 201 in northern Somerset County will be closed for most of the day Friday as workers remove a wind turbine tower and the tractor-trailer that was hauling it, which have been by the highway since the rolled over Monday.
The wreckage is by the side of the road in Johnson Mountain Township, about halfway between The Forks and Jackman. Removal, which will be overseen by state police, will take most of the day, Department of Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said Thursday in a news release.
The work will begin at 7 a.m. State police and the Department of Transportation both said in news releases that Route 201 will be “completely shut down for most of the afternoon” as cranes lift the windmill section onto a trailer. The tractor-trailer that hauled the turbine, twisted by the rollover, will also be removed.
Route 201 is the main route to Quebec and one of only two border crossings from the state into the Canadian province. The accident was about 25 miles from the Canada border.
Drivers were urged by state police and the state Department of Transportation to seek alternate routes north to Canada or south into Maine, including Route 27 from Kingfield or routes 6 and 15 from Greenville. The other crossing into Quebec is on Route 27 at Coburn Gore.
McCausland said in an email that the Department of Transportation would install signs overnight Thursday, and the highway near the turbine tower will be shut down “at a safe location for vehicles to turn around.”
He also said the investigation into the cause of the accident found that the truck was traveling too close to the shoulder of the road, which gave way “and overturned the entire rig.”
State troopers were escorting the loaded truck from the Quebec border to a wind energy project in Bingham when the driver lost control on a corner just before 9 a.m. Monday, state police said. The truck, trailer and load slid off the road, taking out a Central Maine Power pole before coming to rest, blocking the northbound lane of Route 201.
The tractor was driven by Frederic Mercier, 30, of Levis, Quebec, and owned by Transport Tricam of Saint-Henri-de-Levis, Quebec. Mercier was not injured.
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