The second of two massive hydro-electric turbine runners are set to leave Prince Rupert on Jan. 27th for their permanent home at the BC Hydro Site C Dam near Fort. St. John.
The 170-tonne turbine runners measuring 26 ft wide by 17 ft tall are being transported by road as part of the $470 million construction project and will take just under a week, depending on the weather, to arrive on-site,” Cara Craig director of sales for Omega Morgan said.
Portions of Hwy 16 will be closed at night to allow for the extra-wide load to be transported along narrow stretches of the highway as the load travels an average of 40 km per hour, and at times moves as slow as 10 km per hour. Road closures and railway crossings have been timed and carefully planned.
“The whole route has been carefully measured, right down to rock faces and corners lasered to ensure precise data and computer-simulated turns have been calculated,” Craig told The Northern View.
“Every precaution is taken to ensure its safe voyage and to reduce the impact on the motoring public and road systems as much as possible.”
The dual-lane perimeter deck truck and trailer carrying the turbine load is 81m long and 7.98 m wide and just over 770,000 lbs (349,367 kg) from tip to tail. There is one truck pulling the trailer, and two trucks pushing to accommodate for the weight, Craig said.
Hundreds of man-hours have gone into the preparation of the transportation of the turbines, which were originally shipped from Brazil arriving in Prince Rupert in early December and took more than two years to make, the transportation company representative said.
“There is a large operations team boots-on-the-ground readying the transport configuration that will be moving the piece as well as several traffic control units and extra pilot cars,” Craig said.
The vast operations and logistical team consists of three traffic control, three pilots, two supervisors, and barricade attendants at side streets ensuring road and vehicle safety along the route.
“We also have a team of permit specialists, engineers, and project management working around the clock to communicate to all of the teams involved to keep the wheels turning,” Craig said.
As well during the two-year involvement of the heavy rigging and specialized transportation company, applications, bridge surveys, route surveys, roadway measurements, calculations, trailer modifications, and strategy sessions have been ongoing daily with all stakeholders.
“We provide solutions to some of the most complex of projects with our engineering ingenuity and custom equipment,” Craig said. “Omega Morgan is proud to be a part of this historical clean energy project.”