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Trucker hauling oversize load from ex-nuke site cited for going off route


A truck driver hauling a large load away from a former nuclear reactor site followed one of his escort vehicles into trouble with Arkansas State Police on Thursday.

Around 9 a.m. on November 29, a Barnhart Crane & Rigging truck driver started hauling a part from a test reactor from the Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor site near Fayetteville, Arkansas, to a location out of state. The load was listed on the permit as 407,000 pounds of total gross weight and had one truck pulling and other pushing.

The truck driver and escort vehicles were traveling north on I-49 when, according to Arkansas Online, one of the escort vehicles failed to take the route required by the permit issued, which had the oversized load leave the interstate at Exit 58 to avoid driving on a bridge.

Oversized load

“It was not recommended to put that load on that overpass,” Arkansas transportation officials explained.

Instead, the truck driver followed his escort vehicle off of the assigned route and illegally passed over the overpass.

The truck driver was cited near Rogers, Arkansas, by state police for leaving his route. Troopers waited until the truck stopped for a scheduled check to issue the citation.

“Ultimately, the transport driver is responsible for following the permit. He should have taken the exit regardless of what the lead escort was doing,” said Danny Straessle, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

“As to what led up to the citation, we are investigating that right now,” said Chris Teague of  Barnhart Crane & Rigging.

By 11 a.m., the oversized load from the former nuclear reactor site had crossed over state lines into Missouri.


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