An unusually large, slow-moving, oversized load will pass through Mercer and Lawrence counties and adjacent Ohio in the next week as it winds its way through across Pennsylvania on interstates and secondary roads, bound for Wampum in southern Lawrence County.
PennDOT said the “superload” was scheduled to begin its 400-mile journey Monday, Jan. 12, from West Milton, N.Y., north of Albany. The superload is 213 feet long and weighs 294 tons.
The superload will move as a rolling slowdown using two traffic lanes, which will result in traffic stoppages and travel delays. The majority of the transport, scheduled to be completed on Jan. 21, will take place at night, but winter weather could affect or delay the movement.
The Erie Times-News reported that the freight is an empty steel tank decommissioned in 1996 at the D1G Prototype reactor plant on the Naval Nuclear Laboratory’s Kenneth A. Kesselring Site in West Milton, N.Y. It will be disassembled, recycled and disposed of by Alaron Nuclear Services in Wampum, which processes low-level radioactive materials.
Perkins Specialized Transportation Contracting of Becker, Minn., is transporting the load.
The superload will travel through 16 counties and feature ramp maneuvers, unusual traffic patterns, and slow-moving vehicles. PennDOT said drivers will need to remain alert for the slow-moving, two-lane vehicle, which will travel at 30 mph or the posted speed limit, whichever is slower.
In some cases the route calls for entering and exiting onto four-lane highways to avoid overpasses or toll plazas.
PennDOT did not give specific days or times the load will be traveling in any specific area.
According to PennDOT, the trip’s early segment will take the load through Susquehanna, Luzerne, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Union and Clinton counties on Interstate 81 South and Interstate 80 West.
As it moves westward through central and western Pennsylvania, the route will include:
• Clearfield County – State Route 153 North to Elk County.
• Elk and Forest counties – Route 153 to U.S. Route 219 North to the Bootjack Hill truck lane in Ridgway. It will then take Route 120 West, back onto Route 219 North to state Route 948 in Ridgway, then north to state Route 66 and south through Forest County into Clarion County.
• Clarion County – Route 66 to U.S. Route 322.
• Venango County – Route 322 through Cranberry to U.S. Route 62 South in Franklin, then south through Polk into Mercer County.
• Mercer County – Route 62 in Sandy Lake Township to Route 173 South in Sandy Lake. After about 10 miles southbound in Route 173, it will pick up Interstate 80 at Exit 24 in Wolf Creek Township and travel about 24 miles to the Ohio line and into Ohio.
• Lawrence County – After traveling through Ohio, it will go east on U.S. Route 422 to Interstate 376 East to Exit 13A. The load will turn left from I-376 onto Route 224 East then turn right to re-enter Route 376 East.
It will proceed on I-376 taking the Pennsylvania Turnpike toll road to the state Route 168, the Moravia exit. It will re-enter I-376 and take it to state Route 108, the Mount Jackson exit.
The final leg will be on Route 108 to Route 18 South to Alaron Corp. in Wampum.
PennDOT updates on the superload’s travel can be followed on social media at the Facebook group “Pennsylvania Superloads” and with the hashtag #PAsuperload22.