Point Lepreau turbine transport will tie up traffic Sunday
Saint John area motorists advised to expect road closures, delays
Saint John area motorists are being warned to expect road closures and delays on Sunday when a 130-tonne turbine rotor will be transported from the west side port to the Point Lepreau nuclear generating station.
A 19-axle, 200-foot-long tractor trailer — the longest ever permitted in New Brunswick — will creep through the city at about 15 km/h, travelling in the wrong lane for part of the journey.
Flashing road signs have been set up along the route all week to advise the public, and the convoy will have a police escort.
Some local residents aren't convinced the trailer will be able to make it much past the port. The massive vehicle will have to make a 90-degree turn at a street corner, where they have seen much shorter trucks wreck.
"I've seen them hit cars in front of Snacks. So a 200-foot one? That's going to be something," said Jennifer Dennis.
The turbine rotor is one of two meant to replace the ones that fell into the Saint John Harbour in 2008 while they were being transported to Point Lepreau on a barge.
Although the dunked turbines were salvaged and are currently in use, officials feared they would not be able to perform for the full 27-year life of the refurbished nuclear plant and should be replaced.
Motorists are advised to avoid travelling on King Street West, Market Street and Ludlow Street in Saint John West between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Delays can also be expected on Route 1 between 7 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on the eastbound and westbound lanes from Ludlow Street in Saint John West to Route 790 at Lepreau, NB Power says.
The northbound and southbound lanes of Route 790 will be affected from Route 1 up to Point Lepreau at Ridge Road from 8:30 a.m. until noon.
All delays will be intermittent, but may last more than 30 minutes, officials said.
The second turbine rotor, scheduled to be moved on Jan. 26, weather permitting, is expected to cause similar interruptions.