ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A day ahead of schedule, two giant machines arrived in Albany, traveling 165 miles from the Port of Brunswick, to be installed at the Procter & Gamble plant in Albany. They came down Mock Road and then Moultrie Highway.
"Those are utility trucks. They are pick up trucks and bucket trucks," said Nita Birmingham with the Georgia Department of Transportation. "And it's their job to make sure they pick up the lines and pick up signal arms to make sure no infrastructure is damaged."
All along the way, traffic signals and power lines had to be raised so the enormous machinery could pass under, enroute to the P&G plant on US 19.
The equipment is for the construction of the cogeneration plant's boiler, where the biomass will be burned. The cogeneration plant uses biomass as its fuel source to create steam and generate electricity.
The plant is being constructed by Constellation, who owns and will operate the plant. The plant will use scrap wood to supply steam that P&G needs to make Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet tissue at its facility and generate electricity for the local utility, Georgia Power.
P&G will purchase the steam generated by the system from Constellation, and Georgia Power will purchase the electricity generated by the system from Constellation.
"We have to make sure that it's not going to mess up our roadways, damage our bridges in anyway, so we look at everything, every step along the route," said Jill Nagel of the Department of Transportation.
The machines were on the west side of Tifton about 10:30AM Tuesday, which only took a couple of hours from their resting spot on the east side. They should be in Worth County soon. The convoy left Waycross Monday morning.
The convoy left Brunswick last Thursday morning. It departed Jesup about 9:30 Friday morning, and was delayed in its Waycross leg by inclement weather.
These machines are so big that they will disrupt traffic on two Interstates, several state routes and some local roads in south Georgia.
They weigh 150,000 pounds, are 20 feet wide, 20 feet high, and 115 feet long. In fact, that size will take up two lanes of traffic, and they will move slowly.
The Georgia Department of Transportation says the machines will travel at least 30 minutes apart, with a police escort ahead of and behind the trucks. The truck will periodically pull over to allow traffic to pass.
The GA DOT says the cities along the route and target travel dates are: Jesup (Thursday), Waycross (Friday) and Tifton (March 28 or 29).
The vehicles will not move Sunday and are not allowed to travel in Tifton or Albany on Friday or Saturday.
The two oversized loads are the first of eight that will be transported from the port to P&G.
This was the route the convoy took, heading west from Brunswick:
U.S. 17 East on Wednesday
U.S. 17 Northeast
SR 25 Spur Northwest
U.S. 341 Northwest
U.S. 84 Southwest (to Waycross)
Pinehurst Drive West, Waycross
Tebeau Street South, Waycross
Francis Street West, Waycross
McDonald Street North, Waycross
U.S. 82 West, to
Ridge Avenue North, Tifton
Second Street West, Tifton
I-75 South, Tifton (traveling in the left lane for low overhead sign clearance)
Exit 62 to U.S. 82 West
Around milepost 16.5-17 in Dougherty County, the truck will travel in the eastbound lane on U.S. 82 for low overhead sign clearance, then switch back to U.S. 82 West
Mock Road South
SR 133 West, arrive at P&G