Wind farm under construction; oversize loads head to Coffey County through December

The Ad Astra wind farm in southeast Kansas has begun construction and approximately 900 oversize loads will be traveling the routes listed below to locations in Coffey County for construction of the wind farm. The planned completion of the wind farm is the first week of December. Oversize loads will be traveling the below routes through that time.

The first movement of the windmill components for the wind farm began last week. The public should expect for two components to be delivered per day, Monday through Friday. The loads include transport vehicles that range in size to 209 feet in length, 16 feet 7 inches high, 16 feet wide, and 417,000 pounds gross weight.

Approximately 800 oversize loads will be transported from Emporia on Interstate 35 to U.S. 75, then south at Beto Junction to Coffey County’s 24th Road, then east.

Approximately 100 loads will be transported south out of Emporia on state Highway 99 to U.S. Highway 54, then east to U.S. Highway 75, then north to 24th Road, then east.

There will also be super loads traveling to Waverly via the following routes:

  • From the Emporia rail yard: U.S. Highway 50 west to I-35; I-35 east to U.S. 75; U.S. 75 south to 24th Road.
  • From Missouri: U.S. Highway 160 west to U.S. Highway 69; U.S. 69 north to state Highway 47; K-47 west to U.S. 75; U.S. 75 north to 24th Road.
  • From Oklahoma: State Highway 15 north to U.S. Highway 166; U.S. 166 east to U.S. 166 Business; U.S. 166 Business east to K-99; K-99 north to U.S. 54; U.S. 54 east to U.S. 75; U.S. 75 north to 24th Road.

The Kansas Highway Patrol and Kansas Department of Transportation offered a few safety tips for sharing the road with oversize trucks traveling to the wind farm.

  • Stay out of truck’s blind spots. Although every truck has side mirrors, the driver still has blind spots – areas directly behind and on both sides of the truck where the driver cannot see cars. Look at the truck; if you can’t see the driver’s side view mirrors, you are in a blind spot and the driver can’t see you. If your car is beside a large truck, either drive on past or back off. If you are passing, try to drive your car on the left side, where the blind spot is smaller.
  • Never follow a large truck too closely. Stay behind large trucks by at least one car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed. Providing extra distance allows you to see in front of the truck. If there’s congested traffic or a crash ahead of you, you will see it in time to stop or steer away from the danger.
  • Use extra caution when passing a large truck. After you pass a large truck, do not pull your car back into its traffic lane until you see the truck’s headlights in your rearview mirror. Leaving extra distance gives the truck driver time to slow down or stop if something is happening on the highway ahead.
  • Remember that a loaded truck or semi-trailer needs as much as 100 yards – the length of a football field – to come to a complete stop. No matter how crowded the highway, make sure to maintain this safe distance. If the truck driver ignores this margin of safety and follows your car too closely, do not take a chance. Move your car into another traffic lane.
  • Always use your turn signal when changing lanes. Drivers around you need to know what you are doing so they can maintain a safe driving distance.
  • Avoid distracted driving by focusing on the roadway and putting devices down.
  • Always use seatbelts and child safety seats. This is your best defense against injury and death should you become involved in a vehicle crash.

Information thanks to Kansas Highway Patrol.

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