Generator Haul

More than 2.4 million pounds of turbines and generators traversed rail, water and highway this summer to reach their final destination at a new power generation facility in Maryland.

As the first leg of the journey, manufacturers delivered the equipment to the Port of Savannah in Georgia. The turbines arrived by rail and the generators shipped from Japan. From there, Barnhart barged the equipment in two shipments to Port Deposit, MD, then trucked it the remaining 26 miles to the plant.

Throughout the process, challenges were commonplace. The late arrival of the first generator from Japan significantly reduced what was supposed to be a one-month lag between shipments to just 9 days. To make up for lost time, the Barnhart barge had to quickly return to Savannah to pick up the second turbine, then intercept the second Japanese generator at an alternate port.

Once offloaded in Maryland, each turbine/generator shipment had to scale a 1-mile, engine-straining, 8-degree slope aboard a Goldhofer PSTE transport vehicle to reach another Goldhofer vehicle outfitted with a GS-800 girder system. The girder system, designed and fabricated within Barnhart's Memphis facility, included an 8-dolly arrangement to comply with state axle weight requirements.

During highway transport, the route distance increased from 12 to 26 miles to bypass a bridge placed off limits by the Maryland DOT. Due to the longer route, which traversed a populated area in Pennsylvania, more than 30 utility lines and cables had to be "pre-raised" to make way for the equipment.

Barnhart also steel plated seven locations to protect culverts and pipes, and utilized a bridge jumper to protect a 50-foot-long bridge section. The bridge jumpers and launch trailer, designed by Barnhart specifically for the project, consists of a long beam suspension rig made of two multi-purpose steel girders, as well as a three-line Goldhofer THP and tractor.

Traveling an average of only 10 to 12 mph, the Barnhart team worked 10-hour days to complete the transport in two days. Nearly 65 people - including subcontractors - were needed for the entire operation.