Wind park presents 250,000 ton challenge to roads

MidAmerican Energy’s proposed Beaver Creek Windpark with its significant positive impact on the county’s tax base is being cheered by many, but county engineer Wade Weiss has a 500,000 pound concern about the construction.

That’s the weight of a transformer that has to be trucked from a rail spur in Gowrie through Greene County to its destination in western Boone County.

Weiss told the county supervisors the bridge in Paton was a hold-up in determining the route for the transformer, but he thinks “we’re going to be OK with the bridge…. We’re telling it to go slow.”

Three more axles have been added to the trailer that will haul the transformer, bring it to 30 axles.

The transformer will come from Gowrie on County Road P-33 through Paton, south on County Road P-46, and then east on County Road E-26 to Boone County. The date hasn’t been set.

Weiss said he would require that someone from the secondary roads department be present during the transport in case the pavement is damaged. “I don’t think it will be. I was a little more concerned about the pavement than I was about the bridge at first,” Weiss said.

The hauler won’t travel on state roads because the DOT doesn’t like the configuration of the trailer and load, according to Weiss. However, county roads have half the depth of pavement as state roads and no sub base, “and bridges that are not built to sustain this high of loads. It’s a little difficult,” he said.

MidAmerican has said it will pay to repair any damage done to roads in the process of constructing the wind farm.

 

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