Stranded Apalachin “Superload” Removed from Route 17 Expressway
A complex operation to move a giant piece of machinery from a Tioga County highway exit took longer than expected.
Route 17 was closed between Vestal and Apalachin for several hours for the project. A six-mile-long portion of the expressway was out of service for westbound traffic from Wednesday night until Thursday morning.
The detour caused a significant increase in traffic volume along the Vestal Parkway (Route 434). Police reported no significant problems while the diversion was in effect.
Route 17 was reopened to westbound traffic around 6 a.m. One travel lane was closed near the Apalachin exit for about an hour longer as the removal project wound down.
Workers from Rogers Industrial Specialists of Binghamton had staged trailers and other equipment at a nearby boat launch next to the Susquehanna River ahead of the project.
A heavy-duty crane was used to remove the heavy machinery from a trailer that had sustained a mechanical failure on February 24.
Officials have said the 200,000-pound injection molding unit was being transported from Kirkwood to Sandwich, Illinois when the problem occurred. State police said the shipment had not been properly permitted.
Wood blocks were used to stabilize the oversize load. One of the blocks started dragging behind the trailer. The friction caused sparks which ignited a small fire. The blaze was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported.
The machinery was being hauled by TTT Transport of Dayton, Ohio. The company has not responded to a call seeking comment.
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