Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bound for Hatchet Ridge Project: Big blades, big rigs, big stares

Massive pieces for Hatchet Ridge’s 44 wind turbines started their move along some of the north state’s highways this morning to the project site near Burney.

The 185-foot long truck carrying the first blade passed through Redding about 10 a.m., pulling to the median at the Oregon Trail exit on Highway 299. There California Highway Patrol officers gave the truck a thorough inspection, testing the truck’s brakes and measuring the huge load to see if it had shifted.

The blades started their journey this morning in Gerber, about seven miles south of Red Bluff, where they’ve been stored recently after a train carried them into the north state. Trucks are also hauling the engine housing and hubs for the wind turbines from the south and the three pieces of the wind turbines’ towers from the Nevada line to the east.

At 11 a.m. the California Department of Transportation announced in a Twitter update that the tower pieces had arrived at Hatchet Ridge and the first blade was still en route.

The final wind turbine will arrive at the end of July, said Julie Lee, Caltrans spokeswoman. The plan is to move a full turbine set, eight trucks in all, each work day until all are at Hatchet Ridge.

Video here: