SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Crews are still working to remove a huge piece of industrial equipment blocking an off ramp on Highway 126.
Drivers are still being detoured from the 42nd Street exit.
The massive turbine had traveled 3,000 miles from Kansas, but it rolled off the truck about a mile from its final destination.
Crews have been on site since about 4 a.m. Wednesday. They say this has not been an easy process.
“What happened is we took a turn we’re not supposed to,” said truck driver Arthur Tseona.
Though the route is driven beforehand to make sure it can work, the truck driver said it was questionable.
“I kind of knew we went somewhere we’re not supposed to be in, and I asked if this was where we were supposed to be at, and he said yeah, this is where the permits show,” Tseona said.
But the questions came too late, and it all happened much too fast.
“So that’s where I was going to pull over and said I’m not going to go further. And as soon as we did, we had a pilot car in the back saying yeah, I think we’re tipping over. About five seconds later the thing dropped,” Tseona said.
According ODOT spokesman Rick Little, the driver did not have proper endorsements to drive double trailers.
Multiple agencies have been working to clear the road. The crane that was supposed to put the turbine into place was taken from Kingsford Charcoal to help get things upright, but it wasn’t an easy or short process.
Police say 42nd Street was closed on both sides. One business told its employees to head home. Another said they might as well have.
“It’s completely dead in here. There’s nobody coming in. We do online sales so we can ship stuff out if ups can get in here this afternoon,” said Jeanette Carvaugh, Creative Awnings & Shelters Vice President.
Those involved and impacted by this say it’s a frustrating situation.
“I’m more disappointed that we could’ve taken a different route. They tell us now that we could’ve taken the exit up ahead or Main Street. That’s what disappoints me. We could’ve but we didn’t, and it was an error that was done,” Tseona said.
Everyone agrees things could have been a whole lot worse.
“The chains that were securing that turbine to the trailer. If they broke, that turbine would’ve rolled downhill right into 42nd Street, and you don’t even want to think about what would’ve happened in that situation,” said Rick Little, ODOT spokesperson.
KEZI 9 News reached out to staff at the Kingsford Charcoal facility on Marcola just down the street from where this all happened, but the company declined to comment and referred us to the shipping company and ODOT.