Second ‘Superload’ Reaches Destination; Third Set for June

OAK GROVE – As its de-ethanizer pulled into the Oak Grove natural gas processing facility at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Williams Energy officials were already making plans for another superload to pass through Marshall County in June.

Beginning at the McElroy substation on Fork Ridge Road, the 41-yard long, 510,000-pound rocket-shaped machine got back on the road at about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday. Moving slower than it had on U.S. 250 because Fork Ridge Road is even more narrow than U.S. 250, the superload reached Bear Ridge Lane by 11 a.m. Finally, it pulled into the Oak Grove site at about 12:30 p.m.

Williams spokeswoman Helen Humphreys said the contractors moving the superload, Crane Rental Corp., enjoyed the support of the community. She also thanked West Virginia Division of Highways officials for their help.

“We are certainly pleased it went so well,” she said of the three-day move that began at 8:30 a.m. Sunday in Benwood.

Despite its size, the huge de-ethanizer moves fairly well onboard the special Goldhofer modular platform, which features 48 wheels that can each move and pivot in multiple directions. The operator controls the Goldhofer, which never exceeds 5 mph, by remote control.

Humphreys said another superload will probably follow the same path in June. Though not as heavy as the de-ethanizer, the device will be 40 yards long, only one foot shorter than the first two superloads.