Mail Tribune – Southern Oregon’s News Source
April 20, 2011
Riddle, Ore. A package bound for Pacific Power’s Copco 2 dam in Northern California has been turning drivers’ heads since Thursday as three heavy duty-class trucks push and pull a 200-ton power plant transformer from Riddle along Interstate 5 over the Siskiyou Mountains.
The transformer is designed to boost the region’s electrical delivery system at the dam, about 13 miles east of Hornbrook just south of the Oregon-California border.
Considering the transformer’s weight and size – 32 feet long, 18 feet wide, 16 feet high – moving it proved challenging for Omega-Morgan Specialized Rigging and Industrial Contracting of Riddle, company officials said.
“This is one of the biggest projects we’ve ever done,” said Erik Zander, Omega-Morgan project manager, in a release. “We had to draw on our decades of experience to put together the right combination of trucks, trailers and support. And timing is critical.”
“The transporter must be in place and functioning by the spring runoff to insure that power is delivered.”
To move the transformer down Interstate 5 and secondary roads, Omega-Morgan built a specialized trailer propelled by three heavy-duty-class trucks – one in front and two pushing. The truck engines combine for 1,700 horsepower, enough to propel the 27-axle rig and 847,000 gross pounds at a steady 15-20 mph on flat roads and 4 mph up the Siskiyou Pas until those permits came through.
Once in place at the dam, the transformer will play a key role in delivering electricity to residents in a four-country area, the release said. The Copco 2 dam is one of a series of dams on the Klamath River, which starts in Southern Oregon and cuts south and west through the Siskiyous until it reaches the Pacific Ocean.
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