Parts for wind turbines to roll through Rockland

Posted July 28, 2009, at 9 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Components for a wind energy project on Vinalhaven will start arriving in the city beginning next week, resulting in some traffic delays for the next three or four weeks.

“These are big components,” Deputy Police Chief Wallace Tower said Tuesday. “Some are up to 110 feet long. There have been some comments from the public, but by and large, it seems to be acceptable. I really don’t see any bottlenecks. There should be minimal impact on the motoring public.”

Cianbro Corp. has been hired to build the $14 million project that will bring wind power to the Fox Islands, a project that should stabilize energy costs for residents of Vinalhaven and North Haven.

The three wind turbines should produce enough electricity to provide power to both islands’ 1,500 year-round residents. The generators will enable the islands to cut in half the amount of electricity they import from the mainland. In addition, Fox Island Wind LLC should be able to sell more than 5,000 megawatt-hours back to the power grid each year and save residents about $500,000 on annual power costs.

Beginning next week, Cianbro will move about 22 tractor-trailer loads of crane components to a barge at the Prock Marine terminal. The loads are typical truckloads and should have little impact on traffic in the city.

There will be disruptions for the three-week period beginning Aug. 10, however, when the wind tower components begin arriving in Rockland for shipment by Prock barge to the islands.

The components for the project’s three wind tower assemblies will consist of 17 loads that will be either extremely long or wide. An added eight loads will be on normal tractor-trailers.

The plan is for the large loads to arrive in the city from the west along Route 17, turn onto North Main Street, then Cedar Street, then across Route 1 and down Front Street to Prock’s terminal. Some temporary gravel fill will be placed on Front Street to allow the loads to pass without getting hung up on the abrupt change in grade at that intersection.

“It will affect the neighborhood on North Main Street and Cedar Street at times,” Tower said.

On the days the components are moving, ample notice will be given to restrict parking on Cedar Street during certain hours. The company will alert the public daily about when the trucks will be moving through the city.

The stopping of traffic during some deliveries will be coordinated by the Rockland Police Department. Some tree branches may have to be trimmed and overhead communication wires may need to be raised to allow the large loads to pass. Tree trimming will be kept at a minimum and will be done under the direction of the city and at Cianbro’s expense.

The company will begin to remove the crane from Vinalhaven the week of Sept. 3 and those loads should have no impact on traffic.

“Cianbro would like to thank residents and travelers ahead of time in the Rockland area for being patient as the project moves toward completion,” the firm stated in a press release. “The hope is that folks who are inconvenienced by the shipments will realize that the benefits of clean and efficient power for the island communities will be well worth the temporary tie-ups.”

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