A transformer will be passing through Harford County in the near future and this one is no toy. Weighing in at 481,000 pounds and belonging to Exelon Corporation, the first of seven new transformers bound for the company’s Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in Delta, PA will be hauled on Harford County roads over six nights, beginning sometime in late July.
A 16-foot-wide trailer carrying the transformer will have a 27-foot-high load, resulting in a total shipping weight of 831,724 pounds that will roll along at the snail-like pace of 3 to 5 mph. The trailer will be accompanied by a motor escort composed of law enforcement vehicles, road construction crews and utility trucks. The entire road trip is expected to take one week, including the six nights in Harford County and one day in Pennsylvania. An exact starting date has not been set by the company.
An Exelon Nuclear spokesperson told The Dagger that preparations for the trip have already begun, which will include the reinforcement of Deer Creek and Broad Creek bridges, the movement of some utility lines and tree trimming along the route. The company also warns area residents to expect road closures, detours and possible delays. More details are expected later this week.
The transformer coming through Harford County was manufactured in Korea and will be shipped to Philadelphia, then barged to Havre de Grace where it will be driven a total of 30 miles to Peach Bottom. The route over land will begin in Havre de Grace at Baker Road and MD Rt. 155, proceed West on Rt. 155 to MD Rt. 22 West before turning North onto MD Rt. 136 and on to MD Rt. 165 North through the Pennsylvania line. According to a company newsletter detailing the plan, the route was the “most technically and economically feasible” and was designed by transportation experts and approved by state regulators and local governments.
The move is part of an $87 million transformer replacement project planned by Exelon to upgrade a total of six main power transformers (plus one spare) as part of the company’s regular maintenance of the nuclear power plant at Peach Bottom. The main power transformers increase the voltage of electricity that is generated before it is sent to the power grid. The entire transformer replacement project is expected to take three years to complete.
Here is the full Exelon newsletter: