Wind Turbines Exceed Peak Load


. . . on the roads, anyway. Read how Turbine Traffic Vexes Midwestern Towns (hat tip to Matt Szekely):

What happens when trucks carrying gigantic wind turbine parts get lost in small Midwestern towns? In Lincoln, Ill., it means a blocked intersection and some ruffled feathers at the lunch hour, according to the Lincoln Journal, which reported that a turbine truck was fined $20,000 after going astray in town earlier in the year.

It weighed 180,000 pounds, in a city with weight limits of 72,000 pounds.

In Minnesota, trucks laden with oversized turbines sometimes have a police escort and a pilot car with flashing lights — and they are often unable to stay on the interstates due to low overpasses. Some drivers are getting tired of it.

“They have become consistently the biggest of the superloads in significant volumes where people are noticing them,” said Ted Coulianos, a permit supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, as quoted in The St. Cloud Times. “People aren’t sure how to act around them, and that’s the dangerous part.”

Many state officials are glad to have the wind trucks rumbling through town — even if they wear down roads and require police help — because it is a tangible sign of jobs.

Still, bridges have been damaged in Texas and Idaho by trucks hauling wind turbine parts. Pennsylvania has dealt with damaged signals, signs and sidewalks, according to a newspaper report last year. 

[A] stretch of highway closed down near Johnson City, Iowa, after a rotor blade slipped off the flatbed that was hauling it:

Meanwhile, a woman was killed and her husband injured in Minnesota this September when their minivan collided with a truck carrying wind turbine parts, according to The St. Cloud Times. The cause, according to the newspaper, remains under investigation.


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