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Super Load Move Proved Challenging from Erie to Lock Haven

January 22, 2020 12:00 AM
By: Marla Fannin


​After being housed in Erie for more than a year, plans came together in December to transport a Yankee Dryer super load from the Port of Erie to First Quality Tissue in the city of Lock Haven—a distance of more than 300 miles.

The dimensions of the Super Load made it important to share information about the move, including the next day's anticipated route, traffic delays, and opposite direction movements.

Regional Press Offices also shared the Super Load progress on Twitter.

The trailer and load combined for a weight of 628,000 pounds. It was 20 feet high, and 217 feet long.

The 300-mile trip made use of roads in Districts 1, 10, and 2, with each District communicating prior to the start of the move, as well as updates at the end of each day high-lighting the next day's expected activity.

The move featured 25 crew members, numerous inspectors following the load and updating District offices with photos and briefings. The move was also accompanied by 4 PSP units and 5 PSP Troopers to enhance safety.

Ace Heavy Haul of Chelsea, Oklahoma sub-contracted to D and G Hauling from Valparaiso, Indiana to transport the load. Travel dates ran from Thursday December 5 through Monday, December 16. The travel schedule included Saturdays and Sundays. For the most part, movement occurred during daylight hours.

The super load travel plan involved nine counties and featured cross overs and 10 counter flow (opposite direction) movements. Flaggers were positioned at specific locations and intersections along the route to assist movements through intersections and control traffic during counterflow movements.

PennDOT continually cautioned drivers to remain alert for the slow-moving operation, which traveled at speeds around 15 miles-per-hour. Roadway message boards were also used in specific areas to alert drivers of the restrictions and traffic delays.

The trip garnered media attention throughout the region and saw residents in the region come out to witness the "parade" as the load made its way from one town to the next.

It was not all smooth sailing. Before leaving District 1, the super load had mechanical problems that were repaired. As the load entered Centre County, a soft cross-over area made it necessary to bring in aggregate to shore up the soil conditions. And, once the load reached Clinton County, the engine overheated, forcing closures and delays on I-80 in both directions. Late on Sunday night, December 15, the load was able to move again and reached a stopping point near Lock Haven to shut down for the evening.

Starting around 7:30 on Monday, December 16, the load began its last leg, traversing I-80, Route 220, and Route 64, before moving through local streets and entering the gates of First Quality Tissue.

The success of the move was made possible by hard-working PennDOT staff in Districts 1, 10, and 2.  They have much to be proud of. You can see photos of the transport below. 


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