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Superload transports to cause possible delays this week

NEW PHILADELPHIA — A set of three scheduled superload transports are expected to cause possible traffic delays this week through eastern Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Transportation announced the first of three superload transports will begin today about 9 a.m.

Matt Bruning, press secretary for ODOT, said the 30-foot-wide superload containing components of a large furnace will take about three to four hours to make its way from Dayton to Steubenville.

“It’s about a three to four hour trip to Steubenville. I always tell people to plan ahead. … When there’s a move like this there’s a lot of complicating factors. There’s always a chance something could go wrong and it could take longer,” he said.

According to ODOT, the transport route will begin in Wayne County, traveling southbound on Interstate 77. The superload will then exit onto U.S. 250 prior to turning east onto U.S. 22 traveling to Steubenville.

“In eastern Ohio, they’ll come down that route on (Interstate) 77 to U.S. 250 down to Cadiz and then U.S. 22 to Steubenville,” he said.

Bruning said the superload will move slower than normal traffic which could cause some delays for motorists. Due to the large size of the load, a rolling road block will be in place to ensure safety of the load and fellow motorists, along with a police escort.

“It’s 30-feet-wide. A normal lane of traffic is about 12-feet (wide), so in sections where there’s two laned roadway the superload will take up the entire road so that’s why the rolling road block and the Ohio State Highway Patrol will be involved in the escort. They’ll be blocking things off ahead of the load coming through to make sure they can make it through safely,” he said.

The rolling road block allows traffic to recover more quickly, he said.

Bruning said the biggest traffic delay will most likely occur along Interstate 77 because of higher traffic flow.

“I would anticipate the biggest delay will be on Interstate 77. There’s a lot more traffic and very limited options for getting off (at an exit),” he said. “Patience is going to be key,”

The superload will follow the same schedule on Thursday and Friday as well.

Bruning said motorists should plan ahead for possible traffic delays on the three roadways. He said residents can check out ODOT’s website OHGO.com for updated traffic information.

“We have live speed sensors that will show you traffic. I would anticipate you might be able to see where this load is, at least get an idea of it. As you’re looking at those speed sensors, you can see if the load is slowing down as it moves through. It’s always a good way to plan ahead,” he said.

Bruning said he recommends any motorists using one of the aforementioned routes to plan accordingly for a possible delay.

“If you plan on taking one of those routes especially in the morning before noon, possibly leave early to give yourself enough room in case you encounter the superload so you can safely get around and still make it to where you need to go on time,” he said.

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