SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A massive steam generator finished its slow crawl through California, Nevada and Utah this week, arriving at a low-level nuclear waste site 70 miles west of Salt Lake City.
The equipment took 15 days to make the 852-mile trek from Southern California's San Onofre nuclear power plant. The 400-ton generator was hauled on a trailer longer than a football field and wider than three cars. It drove no faster than 25 miles per hour.
When it began its journey north of San Diego, the rig and its convoy of police cars took up four of the five lanes on Interstate 5, said Scott Andresen, spokesman for Southern California Edison. In some towns and cities, transportation officials were present to move or temporarily move or take down signs and traffic lights to ensure the 16-foot tall rig could pass.
When the trailer rolled slowly through the tiny town of Tonopah, Nev., on Saturday, both lanes of traffic were closed. Residents came out from businesses to gawk at the 192 wheel-trailer, which spanned nearly 400 feet long and 22 feet wide.
"It looked like a battleship," said Andria Williams, an employee at the Jim Butler Inn and Suites. "Like a destroyer."
Fawn Adams, who works at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, called the ordeal "kind of our entertainment for the day."