Parade of Power: Big Move passes through Morristown

Jun 22, 2010

This year Christmas isn’t the only holiday that gets a parade.

There were not clowns in this parade, no Shriners – although two guys were stuck with a mini-work vehicle. There were no floats, either.

In fact, the only thing this Father’s’ Day parade featured was pure power.

The oft-delayed "Big Move" finally came through Morristown Sunday night and Monday morning.

Barnhart Crane and Rigging Company is using its super transporter to carry a 795,000 pound generator to St. Paul, Va. Last night, the company completed the 11E leg of its journey with a late-night trip from Jefferson City to Morristown.

"It went picture perfect," Tim Fielder with Barnhart said.

The super transporter – which itself was pulled by a 1,000 horsepower tractor and pushed by three others – was accompanied by an army of support staff. Law enforcement cleared the road – the 22.2-foot wide transporter is also 365 feet long – and utility trucks and workers went ahead of the transporter, lifting power lines, traffic lights and moving signs in the path of gargantuan hauler.

"The utility crews had their act together," Fielder said. "It was one of the best orchestrated moves through a municipality like Morristown we’ve had."

Area residents picked prime spots in parking lots around 11E as the rig made its way through. By the time the move made its way to the "S" curve at the Crescent Center, the shopping center’s parking lot was full.

"It was unbelievable," Fielder said. "That was a good spot. I think there were thousands of people out there. I think everybody had a good time."

Many of those were able to use side roads to get more than one view of the move.

After the truck had passed, they would peel off and go in search of another prime viewing area.

The move, which was supposed to take about eight hours, was done in four and a half.

"We thought we’d get in at about 6 a.m.," Fielder said. "We pulled the rig off and shut down about 3 o’clock."

Fielder said the planning for the four-time delayed move came out nearly flawless.

"I want to say a good job to law enforcement. The utilities worked together," he said. "The city of Morristown held us accountable (in the planning process). The plan paid off."

Still, the work is far from over.

The Big Move will resume tonight as the super transporter and its sizeable support staff make the move up Clinch Mountain on 25E.

The move will resume tonight at about 10 p.m. and will end on the top of the mountain. According to TDOT, traffic on 25E will be delayed by rolling roadblocks from Morristown to the mountain.

A rolling roadblock will also be in effect in both directions as the oversized load crosses over the median at the U.S. 11W underpass on 25E.

Fielder said he’s not nervous about the mountain portion of the haul.

"We feel very comfortable," he said. "All the engineering is proved out."

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