Giant equipment is on the move

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor
The Groveport Police are working to stay on top of a situation involving the movement of huge, heavy equipment along Groveport area roads headed for Licking County as part of the $20 billion Intel semiconductor chip factory project.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), the first of nearly two dozen extremely large truck loads, known as “super loads,” were expected to journey from Manchester along the Ohio River to Central Ohio as soon as March 6. Each load will be transported by semi-truck via a predetermined route to destinations in either New Albany or Hebron. Most, but not all, of the loads are associated with the future Intel semiconductor facilities. The loads will not contain any hazardous material.

ODOT officials said some of the loads will weigh 900,000 pounds, be 19 feet wide, 24 feet high, and 270 feet long. Each oversized and overweight load will take approximately 8-15 days to reach its destination. While no official closures or detours are planned, slow-rolling road blocks will be necessary during transit, and drivers should plan ahead for long delays along the route.

Groveport Police Chief Casey Adams said representatives from the Columbus Police Department and ODOT provided him with the following information:

•Over a period of months, there are approximately 40 oversized transports that will come through Groveport and Madison Township.

•Four of the oversized transports will be the largest loads police have been anticipating coming through the community, and will most likely cause some traffic delays in Groveport (slower speeds and wider turns on the roadways). The loads will be approximately 266 in length, over 20 feet in height, and over 500,000 pounds in weight

•The other 36 oversized loads will vary in size (height, weights, and length). They will be smaller compared to the four largest transports, and some of these oversized loads can be transported on shorter time frame compared to the four largest transports, along with a different route – State Route 317 to U.S. 33 eastbound/ bypassing the Bixby Road route.

•Weekend only transports through Franklin County.

•Transports will take place during daylight hours only.

•Utility companies will be staging ahead of the oversized transports to minimize traffic delays as the trucks move through the designated routes.

Adams said the following Groveport area roads will be affected by these oversized transports: Alum Creek Drive (south of Rohr Road), Rohr Road, Opus Drive , Green Pointe Drive South, Saltzgaber Road, State Route 317 (South Hamilton Road), Old Hamilton Road, Bixby Road, Ebright Road, and U.S. 33 (heading east towards Gender Road in Canal Winchester).

“When the city of Groveport and the Groveport Police Department are made aware of these transports through ODOT media releases, I will make sure to keep the community informed of this information in the coming months,” said Adams.

Adams said the humongous equipment cannot be transported on Interstate freeways because it will not fit under overpasses, so local roads must be used.

ODOT officials stated they analyzed and planned the route to make sure these super loads can be accommodated. Since each load will be escorted by several Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, emergency traffic will get around the rolling road block with minimal delay. Working with partners like local governments and utility companies, obstructions along the route such as large overhead signs, traffic signals, and utility lines have been adjusted and moved.

“For months, we have been working in coordination with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and local stakeholders along the route to ensure each move goes as smoothly as possible with minimal impacts to those who live and work in the communities along the route,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “We will work to provide as much notice as possible so that drivers can plan ahead and use alternate routes.”

The schedule of each of these loads will be checked against local events, like festivals and fairs, to further minimize impacts.

“Moving loads like these is not new for ODOT and our various partners. However, what makes this situation unique is the number of these types of loads arriving in short succession,” said Mike Moreland, administrator of ODOT’s Office of Special Hauling Permits.

Notifications will be made in advance of each load leaving the dock on the Ohio River near Manchester. Updates will be provided as each load moves toward central Ohio.

The route in central Ohio the loads will follow: north on Rickenbacker Parkway North to Alum Creek Drive; north on Alum Creek Drive to Rohr Road; east on Rohr Road to Commerce Center Drive; north on Commerce Center Drive to Green Pointe Drive South; east on Green Pointe Drive South to Saltzgaber Road; south on Saltzgaber Road to State Route 317; north in the southbound lanes on State Route 317 past Groveport to Bixby Road east; east on Bixby Road to U.S. 33; east in the westbound lanes of U.S. 33 to the Gender Road southbound to U.S. 33 westbound ramp in Canal Winchester; travel the wrong way on the Gender Road southbound to U.S. 33 westbound ramp; take State Route 674/Gender Road north to Brice Road; take Brice Road north to the intersection with Tussing Road/State Route 204 in Columbus; east on Tussing Road/State Route 204 east to State Route 310; and north on State Route 310 to U.S. 40 in Etna.

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