By Patricia Beech –
Traffic along Highway 136 in Adams County was interrupted Tuesday as local utility workers, state road crews, and state highway troopers convoyed a mammoth lowboy tractor-trailer from Manchester to Winchester at an average speed of 20 mph.
Troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol detoured traffic as crews from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), American Electric Power (AEP), Adams Rural Electric (REA), AT&T telephone, and local cable companies accompanied the slow-moving rig removing low-hanging utility lines to provide an unobstructed path for the massive trailer as it traveled 20 miles across the county.
Owned by the Barnhart Crane Company, the monster rig, at 150-feet long, 21-feet high, and 23-feet wide, covers the entire width of a two-lane highway.
The Tennessee-based company specializes in transporting heavy equipment used in American industry.
Their load on Tuesday – two enormous dryers bound for a new 1.4 million-square-foot tissue manufacturing plant in Pickaway County.
The plant, owned by the Sofidel Group, an Italian tissue manufacturer, is located just south of Circleville, Ohio.
According to officials at AEP, it will take four days for the lowboy tractor to travel 89 miles to its final destination. Wednesday the convoy is scheduled to leave Winchester and continue on to Bainbridge, Thursday it will travel to Williamsport and arrive Friday at the Circleville plant.
The lowboy trailer is also scheduled to travel the same route again in two weeks for a second delivery of equipment to the plant.
Local AEP crews from Adams and Highland Counties will continue to accompany the rig until it reaches Circleville.