November 16, 2019
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Barge blocks traffic on Washington County road for 25 hours

Courtesy of the Washington County Sheriffs Office
Courtesy of the Washington County Sheriffs Office
A tractor-trailer hauling a barge collapsed on Route 92 in Machias on Tuesday.

A trailer carrying a barge destined for the Bahamas blocked Route 92 in Machias for a day before the road reopened Tuesday.

The tractor-trailer was on the state road about a half mile from the Machiasport line at 3 p.m. Monday when its rear end collapsed, said Sgt. Greg Sawyer of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The trailer remained on Route 92, which is known locally as Port Road, overnight before a work crew used a lift to transfer the 50-foot long, 15 ½-foot wide barge to another trailer and open the road Tuesday at about 4:30 p.m., Sawyer said.

Sawyer blamed the collapse on steep hills and bad routing by the company that rented the tractor-trailer to Thomas Clay, 39, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Clay was having the barge hauled home as part of getting construction supplies and equipment to the Bahamas, Sawyer said.

“There are a lot of steep hills in that area, ones that go almost straight up and down,” Sawyer said. “The trailer bottomed out on the road, and its rear end [assembly] snapped in two places.”

Traffic was routed over Rim Road and Elm Street, Sawyer said.

As a safety precaution, companies that rent equipment to handle items as wide as the barge are required to select the routes the renters are required to use, Sawyer said.

“This was probably the worst road they could have chosen,” Sawyer said. “If not for all the hills, they would probably have not had a problem.”

 



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