What do you need to know as the GE turbine travels Ithaca’s west end on Sunday?

That 187-ton General Electric turbine will come through Ithaca’s west end on Sunday morning after spending Saturday night parked in Lansing, and IPD has told us what to expect.

What can you expect as the turbine crosses Ithaca? Photo by Dean O’Gorman.

Sgt. Barry Banfield of the Ithaca Police Department says they expect the turbine to enter the City of Ithaca from East Shore Drive at about 9am on Sunday, February 5th. It will turn onto Route 13 southbound and proceed into Ithaca’s west end.

  • Turbine will enter Ithaca about 9am
  • It will take Route 13 south
  • Meadow Street will be closed
  • Crossings will remain open as possible
  • Turbine will leave Ithaca on Route 34

Sgt. Banfield says IPD expects “all streets crossing Meadow Street to remain open until the load is obstructing the intersection. We are being told there will be flag persons assisting at the intersections.”

Bucket truck teams lift power lines out of the way as the turbine travels. Photo courtesy of Matt Montague.

Officials might have to adjust the plan at the last minute, he adds. “As difficult as this load seems to have been to move so far, everything remains to be seen.”

Fulton Street will remain open for southbound traffic, so “all southbound traffic will be able to access West Hill,” including Cayuga Medical Center, and “northbound traffic can use any side streets needed to circumvent the closure,” such as Plain Street, Banfield suggests.

The transit will take a while, as the “slow-moving, 345-foot long by 20-foot wide transporter vehicle, with a total weight of nearly 450 tons,” according to the New York State Police, travels at about 2-4 miles per hour depending on conditions. That’s between two and four, not 24.

The turbine convoy makes the turn from Route 281 onto Route 222 in Cortland. Photo by Dean O’Gorman.

Larry Fye of Edwards, a moving company that specializes in transporting extra large or extra heavy loads, told 14850 Today this morning that the turbine is moving along Route 281, after spending the night at the Preble town barn. It turned from 281 onto Route 222 and passed the Cortland County Airport at about 10:30am.

The convoy spent a couple of nights in Cazenovia, waiting while the trucking company paused the transport to re-evaluate a turn later on the route. The process was originally scheduled to reach Ithaca on Friday, and then on Saturday.

The convoy spent the night in the parking lot at The Rink in Lansing. 14850 Photo by Mark H. Anbinder.

Saturday afternoon, the convoy took Salt Road and Peruville Road into Lansing, and thened turn south onto Route 34, where it spent the night in the parking lot at The Rink, south of Rogues Harbor Inn.

Teams lay out wooden platforms before the convoy stops for the night, so the extremely heavy load can be spread out. Some of this week’s platforms were splintering under the load; officials tell us they were the wrong type of wood.

The GE turbine is being trucked from the company’s plant in Schenectady to its destination, a power plant outside Scranton, Pennsylvania, according to The Morning Call.

The turbine convoy lumbers along at about 3mph on Route 222 heading towards Groton. Photo by Dean O’Gorman.

“Motorists driving on the affected roads should be on the lookout and should seek out alternate routes when this behemoth is in their area,” warns the New York State Police bulletin. “Because of the shipment’s weight and the size of the transport vehicle, it is tough to predict exactly where and when the turbine will be at any particular moment.”

“The Ithaca Police Department will have several officers in the area to assist with the detours as they come into play,” Sgt. Banfield assures us.

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