WARWICK, RI — Bay Crane and RIDOT settled on terms for moving a generator, truck and trailer totaling 280 tons over 54 bridges along an engineer-approved route Monday, then followed through at about 8 p.m., toward General Electric in Medway, MA.
The massive combination of cargo and hauler left the Rte. 117 park & ride for the Rte. 95 South exit bound for Rte. 4 onto Rte. 2 north, then Rte. 95 south again before taking exit 7 in Coventry for Arnold Road, bound for the to Rte. 102 corridor.
Terms RIDOT and Bay Crane agreed to Monday included Smithfield company signing on as a co-insured party with the State of RI for a $25 million policy, and paying the transportation department $60,000, “To cover the unusual circumstances brought about by the unique nature of this incident,” the RIDOT said in a release to press Monday.
On Friday, RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said the state intended to invoice Bay Crane for the expense of a 10-day assessment of the roads and bridges along the Rte. 102 corridor planned for a 280-ton load. He would not disclose the amount at that time, but the move was postponed later that day when Bay Crane balked at the charges.
John Tassoni, spokesman for Bay Crane, could not be reached for comment on the final agreement.
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 weight of the generator alone presents an extraordinary challenge for Rhode Island infrastructure, one that could not not have been easily surmounted with air transport.
Worldclassshipping.com’s chart on commercial air cargo capacity shows the largest air transport, the Boeing 747F (Freighter) can lift 95,000 kg, or 104 tons. The generator is 57 tons too heavy for that, assuming the dimensions would allow it to fit in the plane. The biggest of Aerospace-Technology.com’s list of 10 biggest cargo planes, the Antonov An-225 has a max payload of 150 tons, about 11 tons shy of the mark for this piece of equipment.
According to the RIDOT, the generator was brought into Quonset Point on a ship.
“Public safety has always been our priority in this matter. It was our job to make sure that the people of Rhode Island were kept safe and that our roads and bridges were not damaged. We have achieved this. This accord also protects the financial interests of the taxpayers of the State with Bay Crane’s agreement to reimburse the State for expenses brought about by the unique nature of this situation,” Alviti said.
The agreement between Bay Crane and RIDOT sets guidelines for RIDOT‘s relationship with Bay Crane in the future, Alviti said. Earlier this week, Tassoni said there are another 17 pieces of equipment that Bay Crane is hired to transport through Rhode Island for General Electric.