Steve Rogers

About Steve Rogers

Assistant News Director/Assignment Editor; degree in finance and administration from Yale University; 35 years experience in journalism.

Move to Cause Traffic Delays on Highway 45 South

Absorbers staged for move next week.

COLUMBUS, Miss. — This Sunday night, Burkhalter Rigging, Inc., will begin moving two hydrogen sulfide (H2S) absorbers from their current staging location in Bigbee Valley, Miss., to their final destination at Mississippi Power’s Kemper County IGCC Plant. The H2S absorbers are each 238 feet long, 21 feet wide, 21 feet high and weigh 1,425,730 pounds.

Each absorber will be hauled over the 76 mile route utilizing 160 axles of Goldhofer modular transporters, with center dollies and wing dollies used at bridge crossings. Including the prime mover trucks at the front and rear of the transporters, the total 732-wheel configuration for each absorber will be 28 feet tall, 22 feet wide, 346 feet long and weigh just under 2,500,000 pounds. In order to spread the load weight across the entire bridge, eight wing dollies will be added at the Noxubee River Bridge crossing for a width of 40 feet and a total of 796 tires per load.

The convoy, including both absorbers, police escorts, pilot cars and repair vehicles, will leave the staging site at Tenn-Tom One Stop in Bigbee Valley at approximately 8 p.m. Sunday night and travel down Highway 388 to Highway 45 South. The convoy will then travel south in the northbound lane of Highway 45 South from the Highway 388 junction to Scooba, where it will turn onto Highway 16 West, go through DeKalb and then turn south onto Highway 493 before arriving at the Kemper County IGCC Plant.

Transportation will take place during the night over the course of one week, with equipment stationary during daylight hours. Burkhalter-directed crews will maintain traffic control throughout the length of the haul. Road closures and delays will be made available by the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT).

The H2S absorbers originally were shipped from Korea to the Port of Mobile, Ala., where Burkhalter crews barged the vessels via the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway to Bigbee Valley, offloaded from the barges and set at their current location. The absorbers will eventually be used at the state-of-the-art electric power plant that will convert coal into gas and reduce emissions, including a 65 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the environment.

Burkhalter Rigging, Inc., is an award-winning specialized rigging, lifting and transport provider for mission-critical shipments of extremely large and heavy cargoes that are irreplaceable, valuable, and/or impossible to rapidly repair.

Daily updates and photos of the absorber haul will be available on Burkhalter’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/burkhalterrigging.

ROUTE/ROAD CLOSINGS

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) would like to announce the following traffic alert to motorists traveling in the state of Mississippi.

Beginning Sunday, October 28, 2012, at approximately 8:00 p.m. Burkhalter Rigging will be moving two pieces of extremely large equipment from Bigbee Valley to the power plant site in Kemper County. Each load will be 21 feet 7 inches wide by 27 feet 11 inches high and 345 feet 9 inches long and will weigh approximately 2.5 million pounds. The convoy will begin its route at a staging area near the Tenn-Tom One Stop on Highway 388 and will travel west to Highway 45. Highway 388 from Bigbee Valley to Highway 792 will be closed to all traffic between Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. until approximately 1 a.m., Monday, October 29, 2012. The convoy will continue to Highway 45 and park overnight at the intersection of Highway 388 and Highway 45.

The two loads will be traveling south in the northbound lanes of Highway 45 to State Route 16 at Scooba, MS. The northbound lanes of Highway 45 will be closed in increments up to five (5) miles. During the closures, all northbound and southbound traffic will be flowing in a head-to-head configuration in the southbound lanes of Highway 45.

One load will be parked in Shuqualak while the other load travels west along State Route 16 to Scooba. The first load will require State Route 16 to be closed to all traffic from Scooba to De Kalb, from 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 31, 2012, until approximately 6:00 a.m., Thursday, November 1, 2012. The first load will be parked off the roadway near De Kalb until 7:00 p.m., November 1, 2012.

State Route 16 from De Kalb to Highway 493 will be closed to all traffic from 7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 1, 2012 until 2:00 a.m., Friday, November 2, 2012. Highway 493 will be closed to all traffic from 2:00 a.m., until 6:00 a.m., Friday, November 2, 2012.

The second load will travel south from Shaqualak, in the northbound lanes of Highway 45 at approximately 11 a.m., Friday, November, 2, 2012 to Scooba. Highway 16 will be closed to all traffic between Scooba and De Kalb from approximately 9:00 p.m., November 2, 2012 until 7:00 a.m., Saturday, November 3, 2012. State Route 16 will be closed to all traffic between De Kalb and Highway 493 from approximately 9:00 p.m., Saturday, November 3, 2012 until approximately 3:00 a.m., Sunday, November 4, 2012. Highway 493 will be closed from 3:00 a.m. until 7:00 a.m., Sunday November 4, 2012.

“It is imperative to get this equipment moved to its destination in a timely manner but even more important to keep motorists safe and aware of the wide load move,” said the Mississippi Transportation Commission in a joint statement.

Motorists should be aware and expect traffic delays along this route. MDOT regrets any inconveniences the delays may cause.

For more information about this wide load, please contact Chief Willie Huff at 601-359-1707.