200-foot-long tractor-trailer to roll slowly through Lexington next week

gkocher1@herald-leader.comFebruary 17, 2012 

A 200-foot-long tractor-trailer carrying a major piece of equipment for Blue Grass Army Depot will come through Central Kentucky early next week, if weather allows.

The tractor-trailer, which was in Missouri on Friday afternoon, is carrying an empty, 100-ton steel vessel from southeastern Idaho to Madison County.

The convoy is supposed to enter Lexington on Monday. But an approaching winter weather system and accompanying snow may change those plans, said Stephanie Parrett of Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, the Defense Department agency responsible for destruction of the mustard and nerve agent stockpiles in Kentucky and Colorado.

View Tractor-trailer heads to Blue Grass Army Depot in a larger map

"It's currently scheduled to arrive on Monday, but that is dependent upon weather conditions and road conditions as it travels to Kentucky," Parrett said.

The vessel being transported is nearly 50 feet tall (it's lying down on the trailer) and weighs nearly 100 tons. It is made of high-grade carbon steel that is 2 inches thick. The vessel will be installed at the plant now under construction that will destroy chemical weapons in Madison County.

The vessel is on a trailer longer than two basketball courts. The convoy, with lead and trailing vehicles, travels 5 to 10 mph as required by permit, Parrett said.

The convoy will come toward Lexington on the Blue Grass Parkway and onto U.S. 60, and it will then travel along Man O' War Boulevard and onto Interstate 75.

It will enter Richmond from I-75 and proceed onto the Eastern Bypass, then take Ky. 52 to the depot. When installed at the weapons-destruction plant, the vessel will house inert nitrogen gas.

The vessel departed from Idaho for the 1,800-mile journey in mid-January, then traveled through Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee en route to Kentucky.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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