Megaload crawls across county on slow trek to Kansas

Jan 16, 2014 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

An oversized load inched its way through Lander and Riverton on Thursday on its way from Idaho to Kansas.

Officials said the caravan will take more than two weeks to get through Wyoming, beginning in Kemmerer and exiting south of Casper into Colorado.

"This thing goes like 50-70 miles in a day," Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Tom Adams said. "It's going like 15 miles per hour."

According to Adams's notes from the Office of Overweight Loads in Cheyenne, the load weighs 1.03 million pounds and is 421 feet long, with four tractor trailers and 34 axles that take up two lanes of traffic.

The huge vessel reportedly is to be used in natural gas processing operations in Kansas.

"It's freaking big," Adams said.

His and other law enforcement agencies have been monitoring the megaload's progress, but Adams said the company in charge of the operation --Mammoet USA South Inc. --has been doing a good job maneuvering through Fremont County.

"These people are professionals," he said. "They don't just throw it on any old truck."

The crew needed some help getting through the intersection where Wyoming Highway 789 and U.S. Highway 287 diverge in Lander, however, and officials could be heard coordinating the truck's movement north out of Riverton. The procession has blocked traffic locally, but Adams said the people involved in the move are trying to stay out of the way.

"When they can ... they'll pull over and let people go by," Adams said. "But there is some holdup that occurs."

He said Mammoet employees walk beside the vehicle, guiding its forward movement using steering axles located under each trailer.

"And they have tons of escort vehicles," Adams said.

The vessel, which belongs to Eaton Metals out of Denver, entered Wyoming on Jan. 8. Adams said it took three or four days for the load to get over South Pass before heading into Lander on Thursday.

"(We) actually closed South Pass for a couple of hours the day before yesterday to move it across a couple spots there," Adams said.

He wasn't sure what the tank contained, but Adams guessed it was gas. Eaton representatives were unavailable for comment early Thursday afternoon.

Other loads

Adams said Thursday's is one of three big loads that have traveled through Fremont County in the past six months. The others were in Wyoming over weekends and were not as large and slow, however.

"They didn't hold people up," Adams said. "They kind of snuck through. We helped a couple go over South Pass and moved people out of the way as it came down the pass."

Those loads came from Washington and were not associated with the same companies, he said.

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