Some major machinery is making its way through the North State. Caltrans teamed up with the CHP to coordinate the transportation of 44 wind turbines up to the Hatchet Ridge Wind Farm near Burney.
"We are working together to escort the oversized loads safely and effectively throughout the Redding area all the way out to Burney," says CHP Office Chad Barnes.
The first pieces were trucked up to the area Monday. Each wind turbine is made up of eight main components. Large parts will be delivered daily to the wind farm site on up to eight oversize load trucks, some up to 185 feet long.
"The goal is to get a complete windmill set delivered everyday," says Caltrans spokeswoman Julie Lee.
In various locations there will be intermittent traffic control and CHP escort. Motorists are advised these loads will be traveling through these areas and should be prepared for localized delays.
"Loads will take both lanes on occasion and that's why we are out there," says Officer Barnes. "We want to let people know that the lanes are being occupied in tight turns and you'll see these loads in the wrong lane altogether"
The blades will be traveling north on I-5 from Gerber to 299 east. The towers are coming through Susanville, up highways 44 and 89 to 299 west.
"Early in the morning they are going to try to get them going and they'll stagger them about an hour apart," says Lee.
Caltrans workers say the most important thing for drivers to do is keep their eyes on the road.
"There are multiple pilot cars with multiple patrol cars so it is kind of a nice parade going down the street there and people are obviously going to want to turn and pay attention to it. "But you really need to pay attention to your driving and then just make sure you are following what the CHP is telling you what to do," says Lee.
The move is expected to last through the end of July. The Hatchet Ridge Wind Project should be finished late this summer and start producing power this fall.
For more information about the wind turbine moves, go to the Caltrans District 2 web page created specifically for this project at http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist2/turbines.htm.