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Marshall County all eyes as Superload hits the road

Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register photo by Scott McCloskey  The 41-yard long Williams Energy de-ethanizer begins its trek to the company’s Oak Grove facility Thursday morning as it leaves the Benwood CSX rail yard and enters W.Va. 2 south in McMechen.
Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register photo by Scott McCloskey
The 41-yard long Williams Energy de-ethanizer begins its trek to the company’s Oak Grove facility Thursday morning as it leaves the Benwood CSX rail yard and enters W.Va. 2 south in McMechen.

GLEN DALE, W.Va. – Although workers needed to bend a street sign Thursday to squeeze Williams Energy’s 41-yard long de-ethanizer through a 90-degree turn onto W.Va. 86, the superload successfully completed the first leg of its four-day expedition.

Surrounded by a convoy of Marshall County Sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement officers – and accompanied by American Electric Power and Frontier Communications workers in case of a problem – contractors working for Williams navigated the de-ethanizer from the Benwood CSX rail yard to Butch’s Corner at the intersection of W.Va. 86 and W.Va. 88 in six and a half hours.

An operator walked in front of the machine that never exceeded 5 mph, while he directed the special Goldhofer modular platform trailer by remote control.

Roughly 200 enthusiastic school children and interested adults gathered near the intersection of Sixth Street and Wheeling Avenue in Glen Dale to see the 510,000-pound device complete its turn from W.Va. 2 onto W.Va. 86. After leaving Benwood at 8:30 a.m., the mammoth machine reached its turn-off point at about 10:10 a.m.

“This is technology at its best. Our students are seeing a moment in history,” said Joyce Cole, principal at Glen Dale Elementary School, who brought several students and teachers to see the de-ethanizer.

“I thought it was awesome. I have never seen anything like it,” said Karen Slonaker, a fifth grade teacher at the school…

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