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UPDATE: Bridge-Straining 161-Ton Generator’s RIDOT – Approved Trip Delayed

RIDOT Generator Route

UPDATE: John Tassoni, spokesman for Bay Crane, the company hired to transport the 161-ton generator through the state, confirmed tonight the move has been delayed due to a disagreement between the RIDOT and the company.

“Earlier today, it was determined that the terms that the RIDOT sought to impose in conjunction with the issuance of the permit were unreasonable. Similar terms have never been mandated by the RIDOT when oversize load permits have been issued in the past. At this point, the RIDOT has not denied the permit based upon any sound engineering premise. Bay Crane anticipates working with the RIDOT cooperatively to ensure the safety and welfare of the public, to accomplish the movement of the piece of machinery as soon as practical,” Tassoni wrote in a release sent to media.

WARWICK, R.I.  — The 161-ton generator halted on Rte. 95 in Warwick June 27 then moved to the Rte. 117 park & ride will continue to its destination at General Electric in Medway, MA tonight at 8 p.m. on a RIDOT-approved route over 54 bridges through Warwick, East Greenwich, Coventry, West Greenwich, Scituate, Foster, Gloucester, and Burrillville.

“We will be monitoring its transport,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr., who noted precautions will be taken to ensure the massive generator, more than twice the 100-ton (200,000 lbs) upper limit of mass they permit for travel through the state,  passes safely over the bridges, without damaging them.

The generator, truck and trailer combined are 560,000 lbs (280 tons).  A 10,000-pound dump truck with 10 cubic meters of dry dirt would weigh a combined 11,000 lbs., or 17.5 tons. The generator, trailer and truck would be the equivalent of 16 such trucks.

The transport is expected to last 10 hours, and is being run overnight to minimize impact on local traffic.

Georgette Chahine, acting manager of RIDOT’s bridge engineering section, said a combination of speed limit precautions and bridge “jumpers” — essentially braces that will shoulder the bulk of the weight instead of the bridge — will be used to ensure the generator makes its journey without mishap.

Alviti commended the 10-day, around-the-clock work of his department’s engineers in assessing the roads and bridges along the agency-approved route, mainly along the Rte. 102 corridor. He said the agency will invoice the transport company, Bay Crane of Smithfield, RI, for the expense. He did not have an estimate for the cost.

The generator, truck and trailer combined are 280 tons, the equivalent of 16 loaded, 17-ton dump trucks.

Had the generator proceeded on its intended route, state bridges, many of which are structurally deficient, may well have been damaged by the weight.

John Tassoni, a spokesman for Bay Crane, told on July 1, that the start of the transport without a permit was a misunderstanding between the agency and the company. A RIDOT employee spotted the generator on Rte. 95, and, knowing the permit was still in progress, alerted the agency, bringing it to a stop.

When asked if steps would be taken to anticipate a similar misunderstanding leading to oversized freight transported through the state without a permit in the future, “We expect that it is the last time it happens,” Alviti said.

Alviti said enforcement of permits lies with the State Police. Laura Meade Kirk, director of public information for the RI State Police, said Bay Crane’s transport of the generator without a permit is under investigation.

RIDOT has provided a list of streets and routes the generator will travel, and a full-sized map of the route:

Generator Route List


Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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