Sue Kiesewetter reports
Two more gigantic metal boxes used in the production of industrial gases need to make the 60-mile trip from the Ohio River in Sedamsville to an AK Steel supplier in Middletown.
The third of four boxes will leave Kinder Morgan’s Sedamsville terminal Tuesday for its two-day journey through Hamilton and Butler counties to its final Yankee Road destination at Middletown’s Air Products and Chemicals Inc.
If all goes as expected, the fourth and final box will begin its journey May 31, said Elizabeth Lyons, public information specialist with the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Officials say there have been few problems with the first two loads, but the transport is taking a week longer than expected. With the boxes weighing between 238,562 and 425,800 pounds – 119 to 213 tons – the trailer carrying the equipment moves at no more than 5 mph.
“We think it’s going very well. Sometimes when you get these super loads you just don’t know how long it’s going to take, said Dan Fahringer, manager of project logistics at Air Products.
“We haven’t encountered any major problems. Although it’s taken longer than everybody thought.’’
Slowing down the delivery of the first two loads were requests to keep vehicles off the roads when schools were being dismissed, pulling over to let traffic go by when prudent, and moving utility lines to accompany the height of the equipment.
With half the equipment delivered, the crews are more familiar with the roads they are traveling, which should reduce delivery time from a three-day trip to two days.
“It was a pretty optimistic and aggressive schedule,’’ Fahringer said. “We’re getting better.”
The boxes measure between 146 and 175 feet in length, 18.5 feet wide and 19.5 feet high.
An entourage of 50 is accompanying each trailer carrying the equipment and includes a minimum of four Duke Energy bucket trucks, four Ohio State Highway Patrol, one Ohio Department of Transportation, and two private vehicles.
In the last two weeks, two of the four boxes have traveled through Hamilton and Butler counties en route to Air Products. There, they will be used by Air Products to produce industrial gases for AK Steel and other clients in the food, chemical, electronic, medical and other industries.