Interstate 70 to be closed briefly tomorrow in Belmont County to allow for the transport of a superload
ODOT teamed up with manufacturer and customer to meet global market transportation needs
New Philadelphia, Ohio (Monday, July 11, 2011) – Interstate 70 will be closed for about 15 minutes tomorrow between noon and 2 p.m. at the construction work zone on each side of Exit 208 in Belmont County to allow for the safe transport of a superload destined for the Ohio River.
Bound ultimately for an offshore platform in the Caspian Sea, the first of three BP-operated West Chirag units will leave Mount Vernon today to begin its trek through Ohio with arrival in Baku expected in October. At 407,000 pounds, it is the largest unit ever to ship from this Rolls-Royce manufacturing facility.
Due to the immense weight of the unit and the length of the 350 foot truck used to move it, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) officials have worked closely with the logistics teams from Rolls-Royce and their customer BP for the last year to plan the successful transport of these units. In particular, the team paid special attention to safety when crossing bridges and making turns on the truck’s route to the Ohio River. Other considerations included the avoidance of peak travel times and minimizing the interference with Jamboree in the Hills traffic. Motorists are advised to plan ahead and use an alternate route to avoid delays. ODOT and the Ohio State Highway Patrol will escort the convoy from Mount Vernon to Bellaire.
"The shipment of this unit is a great accomplishment not only for the workforce at Rolls-Royce, but for the state of Ohio," said Barry Eldon, Vice-President, Assembly & Test for Rolls-Royce Energy Systems Inc. "It clearly demonstrates that Ohio has both the capability and the resources to participate in the global market."
At Bellaire Harbor, the three units will be lifted onto barges then towed down the Ohio and Mississippi River system 1,900 miles to New Orleans. The transportation of the cargo is expected to take nearly four months to complete.
Bruce Luberski, BP’s Vice-President for Major Projects in Azerbaijan says, "We have been utilizing Rolls-Royce power generation units for our offshore and onshore operations in the Caspian region for many years; however, this is the first time we are delivering them from the Rolls-Royce plant in Mount Vernon. We are aware that these units will be the largest ever transported from Mount Vernon, and therefore for about a year, we have been carefully planning for this long and challenging transportation journey of over 10,000 miles from the U.S. to the shores of the Caspian Sea. We have all plans in place to take the units safely to the ATA fabrication yard in Baku and install them safely on the West Chirag platform deck in preparation for the delivery of First Oil from the Chirag Oil Project in 2013."
SR 7 will also be closed briefly at Bellaire on Thursday, July 14th, while the load crosses SR 7 at Guernsey Street. Again, ODOT is asking motorists to plan ahead and use an alternate route to avoid congestion and delays.
For more information contact:
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, ODOT District 11 Public Information Officer, at (330) 308-3949
or email D11.PIO@dot.state.oh.us
Katie Rutherford, Rolls-Royce Energy Systems Inc. Communications Specialist, at (740) 393-8374
or email katie.rutherford@rolls-Royce.com
Tamam Bayatly, BP's Press Office in Azerbaijan, Telephone: (+994 12) 437 75 73