Tank to restrict traffic

STEUBENVILLE -Traffic along state Route 7 and U.S. Route 22, as well as some county roads and state Route 151, will be restricted between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday in Jefferson and Harrison counties to allow for the transport of a superload from the Ohio River to the new MarkWest fractionator facility on Giacobi Road in Hopedale, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The load, a giant tank, is scheduled to depart the L&J Bowers Barge Facility off Marina Drive, Steubenville, around 7 a.m. and travel to state Route 7, north to the state Route 213 northbound ramp to U.S.Route 22 west, then take the John Scott Highway crossover to U.S. Route 22 and enter the highway westbound using the eastbound off-ramp – traveling U.S. Route 22 westbound in the eastbound lanes. Then it will take the ramp at Lovers Lane, re-enter the U.S. Route 22 eastbound lanes traveling westbound to state Route 43. then take state Route 43 (Canton Road) south to Main Street in Wintersville, then traveling west onto county Road 22A to the U.S. Route 22 westbound off/on ramp at county Road 22A, re-entering the highway westbound via the off/on ramp at state Route 152, re-entering U.S. Route 22 westbound to state Route 151 and then north to Giacobi Road east.

The tank is too high to go under some bridges along U.S. Route 22. The procession will be using the on- and off-ramps to allow traffic to flow past so as not to restrict traffic for too long, ODOT reported.

The closure of U.S. Route 22 will be handled as a rolling roadblock from state Route 43 to Lovers Lane where crews will take an exit ramp and reopen U.S. Route 22, so traffic can clear, then reclose as a rolling roadblock until it exits at state Route 43. Officials believe each section of the movement should take no more than 15 minutes. Utility trucks and local law enforcement, in addition to four Ohio State Highway Patrol escorts, one ODOT escort and two private escorts, will accompany the transport.

This load will be extremely slow moving and will cause delays on the route for the majority of the day, ODOT reported. It is expected to leave the barge facility at 7 a.m. and will probably not be off the road before 3 p.m.

This is the first of six tanks Total Energy Heavy Haul Corp. of Diboll, Texas, will be moving from the barge facility in Steubenville to the MarkWest facility in Hopedale. Dimensions of each move will be 20 feet wide, 17 feet, 4 inches tall, 260-feet long, with a gross weight of 570,000 pounds.

Due to the size and travel speed of this load, ODOT officials said they’ve worked closely with the logistics team from Total Energy to plan for the transport of these units. In particular, the team paid special attention to safety when crossing bridges and making turns on the truck’s route, ODOT reported. Other considerations included the avoidance of peak travel times and minimizing interference with traffic.

ODOT is asking motorists to plan ahead and use an alternate route to avoid congestion and delays.