Massive Palisades Transformer to Move Through SJ in Early Morning Slow Haul

If you thought those huge loads coming from the Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman to the Lafarge Docks on the St. Joseph River last spring and summer were big…get ready for an even larger payload headed from the Lafarge Docks to the Palisades Nuclear Generation Plant in Covert late tonight or tomorrow. Moving at a top speed of about 5-miles per hour, it will take a while to complete the trip running through the Upton Drive neighborhood and north from there to Blue Star Highway.

Barnhart Crane & Rigging Company will, for the third time this calendar year, be hauling some mighty big gear through a part of town, but most people won’t see it, hear it, or be directly impacted by it while it’s taking place because all movement is slated to take place after 11pm and through the early morning hours.

The portion of roadway impacted in St. Joe would likely see the more than 900,000 pound transformer on the open road between 11pm and 1am before it moves beyond the city limits.

Escort services for the nearly 13-foot wide, 17-foot tall, and 27-foot long transformer will be provided by the Michigan State Police according to Barnhart officials in touch with the City of St. Joseph.

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When you combine Barnhart’s substantive rig into the equation, the total load tops 1.239-million pounds, measuring 21-feet wide, 22-feet high, and 93-feet long. Dozens of tires beneath the rig are designed to keep the load stable along the route to Covert.

Barnhart Crane & Rigging is a specialty heavy equipment logistics team based in Memphis, Tennessee, contracted by Entergy Corporation which owns and operates the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant at Covert.

The City of St. Joseph is expected to authorize the move at the commission meeting tonight under a mutually acceptable plan for rolling road closures, and Barnhart is responsible for any surface of subsurface damage to any utilities, water, storm or sanitary sewer lines that might occur through the move. Insurance coverage is also provided for, at minimum, $2-million for any injuries, claims or damages to third parties.

From the Lafarge Docks, the generator is scheduled to traverse Upton Drive up to Klock Road, onto Jean Drive, and Rocky Gap Road north to M-63 before turning left onto 63 and north to Blue Star Highway for the balance of the run.